Baba Fatah Uddin – the voice of Chitral

Baba Fatah Uddin – the voice of Chitral

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Baba Fatah Uddin life:

He was originally from Owir, a small village in Upper Chitral. Baba Fatah Uddin was born in Moldeh Chitral in 1952. Baba went to High School Chitral, now Government Centennial Model School Chitral. He attributes all his success to his teachers and school. Many well-known personalities were students of this school including, Sardar AC, Shahzada Muhy Uddin, and Maqsood Khan.

Baba Fatah spent all his life in Chitral.  Baba was a dentist by profession in THQ Hospital Chitral. His heart always laid in music.

Baba Fatah Uddin as a member of Al Fatah Club:

Baba Fatah Uddin was a member of Al Fatah club where Sultan Ghani was a sitar player. Durdana Khan and Ghyrat Uddin were vocalists. And Abdul Kareem was also a part of this club as a percussion instrumentalist.

The role of this club is very crucial to preserve and promote the traditional music of Chitral. As it is, many tunes of Chitral were lost to history. This club remained as an umbilical cord to nourish the traditional music of Chitral.

New era:

Radio Pakistan is a big platform to promote the music of Chitral since 1965. As a consequence, the traditional music of Chitral reached the width and breadth of this country. But, new music also penetrated the mountain of Chitral and became dominant with the passage of time.

In those days Iqbal Uddin Sahar and Mirza Ali Jan preferred to change the traditional music of Chitral. They sang popular music as a form of Chitrali music. But Baba remained committed to promoting the classical music of Chitral. Therefore, he sang a few popular songs but rendered mostly traditional songs of Chitral.

Baba Fatah Uddin has recorded more than two hundred traditional songs of Chitral. It is a big hallmark in the history of music in Chitral. The new generation likes popular music and one can found rare connoisseurs of classical music. Therefore, Baba has sung the traditional music in a fast tempo to bridge the old and the new. In this way, he has won the heart of the new generation as well as the old generation.

Inspiration for Baba Fatah Uddin:

Baba Fatah Uddin liked the voice of Amir Gul Amair and he dedicates all his songs to the Lal Sarmast Ali of Drosh. According to Baba, Sarmast Ali honed his skill to become a famous singer of Chitral. Drosh has always remained a fertile land to nourish the literature and music of Chitral.

Some famous songs of Baba Fatah Uddin

A few famous songs of Baba Fatah Uddin are: Rustumo Hang,  Krui Kumoro, Badshai Shap, Berangi, Nandoshe, and also sang all the three main form of music of Chiral: Dani, Savoz, and Ashorjan.

A few songs that became very popular are: Xan sadaqa ta cheer golo sora, Awa samarqanda bandi khoshey ta gani, ta nan ta pazal arer and, arman moso tan xan, Ta gech geleru masar– you name it and it is there.

His message to Chitrali people:

The original music of Chitral is dying day by day due to the technological invasion of the modern era. Therefore, it is the need time that traditional music should be promoted. Live music should be performed rather than studio music.

Music should not be taken as entertainment but as a means to access life. The more we copy the music of other regions, the more we will forget our identity. The music of Chitral has much potential to change the society from evil nature towards ethical and civilized form.

The music has already been adulterated with money and non-serious gathering. Because the world has become market-oriented, so, In this way, the future generation of Chitral will forget his culture and identity.

The state should take an interest to preserve the old culture of Chitral. As the government sectors are not taking serious steps to document and explore a rich culture in the north of Pakistan. But the next generation will remember Baba Fatah Uddin,  the only hero who saved our music in the history of Chitral.

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