By Anmol Singh
In the era of 70s and 80s Doordarshan was one of the main sources of entertainment. There were many popular programs which were telecast at that time. One of most popular program was AAROHI to which most of the legendary singers of that are have contributed. One such episode telecasted in 1976 had Naushad Sahab was the compare and Rafi Sahab was the singer with 200 plus musicians. In this program Rafi Sahab sang five all time classics composed by Naushad Sahab. The songs were “O Duniya Ke Rakhwale“; “Mann Tadpat Hari Darshan Ko Aaj“; “Madhuban Mein Radhika“; “Meri Kahaani Bhulane Wale” and “Suhani Raat Dhal Chuki“.
Naushad Sahab’s oratory in this program is excellent, since he was a great poet (Shair) apart from being one of greatest composers. He speaks about himself and Rafi Sahab through a poetic narration. He explains all the songs with the raags in which they were composed in detail. Even a layman who doesn’t understand classical music can learn a lot through Naushad Sahab’s narration.
Similarly during Rafi’s sixth death anniversary in 1986 a one hour episode of Rafi Sahab’s life history was telecast on national network across India. The program was narrated in English. It also had a small interview in with Rafi Sahab. He speaks about his inspiration for singing and initial break through he got. There were small clippings in the episode where Rafi Sahab spends time with his family members and grand children.
The episode also had a complete coverage of Rafi’s last journey after his death. Name the super star or any famous film personality; all were part of the final journey of Rafi Sahab. Doordarshan had carried out a very good coverage at that time. The tributes given by many film personalities followed for several days on Doordarshan after Rafi Sahab’s funeral. Dharmendra and Dev Anand gave excellent tributes.
Thirty years after Rafi’s death, one cannot say in what state these archives presently exist. In my opinion we should approach the Information and Broadcasting Ministry, to release these precious treasuries. These archives can be sold as a normal VCD/DVD worldwide with Doordarshan having the copyrights. This would not only benefit Rafi fans, even Kishore and Mukesh fans would also benefit from it. Kishore and Mukesh also contributed to the AAROHI in the 70s.
We as a culture are not at all good in preserving our history. Let’s act before it’s too late and make a combined appeal to the Govt of India.