KARACHI: In a country where people are still fighting for basic human rights, the debate of whether the welfare of artistes should be a state responsibility or not may seem a little farfetched. But like Nanna Lahori’s (known best for his role as Zakoota) complain about the state’s ignorance towards his declining health, Pakistani artistes keep on raising the matter every now and then. The latest in this list of artistes is famous ghazal singer Munni Begum, who said, “Pakistani artistes can’t even buy their own graves let alone buying something while they are alive,” reported Roznama Express. Begum has rendered some of the most popular ghazals of the Subcontinent such as Ek Baar Muskuara Doand Awargi Mae Hud Sae Guzar Jana Chahiye
“The despicable state of Pakistani artistes brings tears to one’s eyes and the government’s ignorance is shocking,” she said. “The authorities think that that designating an annual fund of Rs20.5 million would suffice the needs and requirements of an artist’s family but that is hardly the case.” She suggested that the government should not just focus on creating funds and awards for artistes but should keep the prosperity of the artiste and his/her family as the priority.
“The biggest dilemma is that the government assumes that its role in our wellbeing end after giving a ‘Pride of Performance ‘Award”, she said. Earlier this year, film-actor Shaan lashed out at the concept of giving awards in Pakistan. “We must care for each other as one big family. And that does not mean giving artistes a branded wooden trophy, which will only go on the shelves of honour, glorifying the past but not promising the future,” wrote Shaan in a facebook post.