By Subhash K Jha
MUMBAI: The golden-throated singing sensation Reshma who regaled Asians with her folk singing could have lived if only her country and government had looked after her medical needs.
Hitting out angrily at the Pakistani government, Adnan Sami of Pakistani origin, says, “I don’t mourn her death as much as I mourn her last days of throat cancer where she was left to rot alone with no support from her government’s Ministry Of Culture and the government-run ‘Lok Versa’ who are not only supposed to uphold the glory of the folk heritage but also support artistes who create the folk heritage.”
Adnan is deeply affronted and angered by the apathetic attitude of the policy-makers towards iconic artistes in both India and Pakistan. “Look at how Mubarak Begum or the late Mehdi Hassan are treated! What is the point of glorifying the artiste once she is gone after abandoning her during her hour of need? The same happened with Allan Fakir, Mehdi Hassan and countless other stalwarts in the past. Now it is Begum Reshma.”
Turning emotional, Adnan bids Reshma adieu. “May she rest in peace. I KNOW she is in a better place today. …Aaj sabko khabar hai ki unki qabr kahaan hai magar woh zinda kahaan aur kis haal mein hai, kisiko khabar nahin! “
Pakistan, says Adnan, is no country for artistes. “And then they ask why their artistes leave their country! Does anyone want to be at their mercy? God bless her soul.”