Dawn News

Mehdi Hassan: sons’ warning

I WAS surprised to read a news item, ‘Sons warn against exploiting Mehdi Hassan’s name’ (July 19).

The write-up told us about Mehdi Hassan’s sons protesting at a press conference against programmes held to pay tribute to, and books written on, their father without their permission.

They also warned that “anyone wanting to do a programme on Mehdi Hassan would have to inform the family first, otherwise legal action would be taken against the organisers.”

Amazing piece of news!

I had hoped that with the great singer’s passing away after more than a decade of physical and mental suffering, his troubles were over, but it looks like he is still not being spared the embarrassment he suffered during his long ailment.

How tragic that even in his eternal sleep he is still considered a goose that lays the golden egg!

At the above press conference it was also said by one of the sons “that his father had been ill for 12 years but no one had come forward to help him …”

Surely, many people — particularly those in the country and from across the border — who helped him would be deeply hurt by this ungrateful revelation.

People all over the world had the right to celebrate Mehdi Hassan during his glorious career.

I am afraid they still enjoy the right to celebrate him after his death.

S.M. SHAHID Karachi

Postage stamps

I WOULD like to request the government to issue postage stamps as a tribute to four legendary singers of Pakistan: Ustad Amanat Ali Khan, Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan, Madame Noor Jehan and Mehdi Hassan.

The one with Mehdi Hassan can be brought out with the singer holding a musical instrument in his hand.

All four singers have won millions of hearts by singing songs and ghazals. They have left behind their unforgettable memories through their songs for a lifetime.

These melodies are an ever-lasting treasure for Pakistanis living here and abroad.

May their souls rest in peace.


Comments (18) Closed

Jul 27, 2012 02:02pm
OK, honor him. But if you make two pennies of his life and songs, give one to his family. Isn't it fair to honor his intellectual property rights.
Jul 27, 2012 01:53pm
I whole heartedly concur with your observation. It seems that Mr. Medi Hasan died as a poor with medical loans. He did not have enough money to pay his medical bills! His family bore the burden of his life at the end, while his songs amused the whole nation and others. I also doubt he was paid any royalty for airing his songs after his first payment for each song. It is sad that Pakistani entertainment businesses do yet not respect the intellectual property rights the way most of the world does now.
Jul 27, 2012 02:00pm
How is that when some people celebrate, the entertainment businesses make money of a dead artist and don't pay a penny to the deceased's family who bore the burden of his long illness and medical bills? One may personally love an artist's work, but it is not right to be unfair to the artist's family.
Agha Ata
Jul 27, 2012 02:13pm
First, Mehdi Hassan sang for the people not for his sons, Second, a great man belongs more to the people he serves than to his family members. Mehdoi Hussan became famous because people loved him singing not because his sons were there. It is the people who will keep him alive for the future generations to know him, not his family. One last question, If Mehdi Hussan needed help what were his sons doing when he was sick? And why did they put their old father in this helpless situation?
Gerry D'Cunha
Jul 27, 2012 11:11am
Mehdi Hassan no doubt is a legend. All those celebrating Mehdi Hassan's memories now - where were they then when the poor man was suffering in the hospital for years.
P. Abidi
Jul 27, 2012 05:06am
What absurdity that Mehdi Hassan cannot be honored. The family should know that he also belongs to those who have admired him and loved him all through his life and certainly would like to honor him with a Yaddon Ka Safar. It is certain that the family wants money from any source that they can get but it is not a proper thing to do. They need to let things happen.
Be Just
Jul 27, 2012 10:01am
If someone is making MONEY in the name of Mahdi Hassan - they Late Mahdi Hassan's Family's has 100% legal and ethical right to take their fair share out of it. For example TV Shows etc (which make millions of Rs on his name) and might have run his songs and earned millions of Rs - but proably never gave a single Rs to him or his family. Hopefully you understand what I am taling about
Jul 27, 2012 05:12am
@ SM Shahid. Tell me this, will the organizers of these so called "programmes held to pay tribute to, and books written on" will not earn money? Or will they do it for free? It is their right to ask for proper share in the earnings done on their father's name. Regards, Ali
P. Abidi
Jul 27, 2012 05:15am
What absurdity that Mehdi Hassan cannot be honored.
Be Fair
Jul 27, 2012 05:45am
I think they have right to do that. People in Pakistan have no understanding of what Intelectual property is and how it works. Family has every right to do that - if someone is making MONEY on Mehdi Hassan's name. I think his songs are being aired without a single PENNY going to either Late Mr. Hehdi Hassan or his family benefitting in any way. He or his family deserved to get their rights (in monetry terms).
A. Ahmed
Jul 27, 2012 09:16am
I agree. At least somebady is thinking right. All those "celebrating" Mehdi Hassan's memories doing for free? They are "celebrating" with a singular object of profiting. And the Family has every right to do what they are doing.
Jul 27, 2012 02:44pm
Unfortunately back in the day when Mr. Hassan sang for PTV Radio Pakistan and the films the right to his songs belonged to the respective agencies who paid him to sing in those days in lieu of those rights. According to IP law you can only get paid for the property you own. If PTV chooses to have someone sing Mehdi hassan sahibs songs they can because they own the song not even Mr. Hassan himself could stop them even if he was alive. His family has no leg to stand on unfortunately.
Jul 27, 2012 03:23pm
Copyright laws should not be ignored for the Mehdi Hasan's Estate. Mehdi Hasan's ghazals and songs are his estate -- family of the greatest ghazal singer of the time is right in demanding compensations -- no free lunch.
Jul 27, 2012 11:14pm
His family and sons abandoned him in his last days . He was alone and loney. So why are they complaining now. Money greedy family.
Yemeen Zuberi
Jul 27, 2012 06:49pm
I doubt, because I have not read anywhere, that anyone of those who are "celebrating" Mehdi Hassan have announced establishment of funds to provide financial assistance to the poor singers and artists or to establish an academy after Mehdi Hassan's name. I request all who have earned money using his name join hands to establish a Mehdi Hassan Fund and a Mehdi Hassan Music Academy. Let me say that, right or wrong, it is an old practice to earn by using names and work of extraordinary performers like Ghalib, Khusro, Iqbal, Sehgal, Hanif Muhammad, Faiz, Rafi Muhammad, and many others. I will end my comment by saying that "a giant is a giant because he may live poor and die poor or disheartened, but his work benefits a huge number of people, according to demand and capacity of each individual."
Jul 27, 2012 07:10pm
I second the idea of bringing out the postal stamps of our legendry artists. It is an excellant idea.
Jul 27, 2012 07:21pm
They want to get paid of it.
Jul 27, 2012 11:29pm
why don't they have live programmes with singers who are alive, like munir hussain and ghulam abbas.may be some other also which may be not in my knowledge.