Jinnah tapes: efforts to get hold of history pay off
05 September, 2013
LAHORE: The struggle to retrieve the long lost recordings of two key speeches by Quaid-e-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah from the All India Radio (AIR) could not have borne fruit without the hectic efforts of former Pakistan Broadcasting Corporation (PBC) director general Murtaza Solangi.
The speeches delivered on June 3 and August 11, 1947 were recorded in Delhi since the Karachi station did not exist, while the Peshawar and Lahore stations did not have a recording facility at that time, and the programmes could only go live.
Solangi as the PBC director general had earlier tried to contact BBC to get the copies of the transcription disc, since the corporation had a rich archives library, but the answer from London was "they did not have the speeches".
During the November 2011 visit to Delhi for the annual conference of the Asia Pacific Broadcasting Union, the former DG asked the head of the International Department of All India Radio if they had Jinnah's speech that he delivered on August 11, 1947, and the officials replied in positive. He was told to formally write to the department in order to get the recording of the speech.
In March last year, Solangi wrote to the All India Radio director general, asking for his help to get the copy of the speech.
As the word regarding Pakistan's efforts to get the copy of the speech quickly broke out, right to information activist Subhash Chandra Agrawal stepped in and took the request to the logical conclusion, finally helping Pakistan and the researchers and intellectuals at large to access the recordings.