Rabindranath Tagore set the tune to both the national anthems of India and Bangladesh; the tune for the Sri Lankan national anthem was also suggested by him.
In the last week of April, Abdul Majid Sheikh’s book, Lahore: 101 Tales of a Fabled City (2015), was released. It again brought to the forefront that Pakistan’s anthem was first written by a Hindu poet of Lahore, Jagannath Azad. Three other national anthems — of India, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh — were composed as poems by another great Hindu, Rabindranath Tagore.
Sheikh says, “The Lahore poet Azad was commissioned by Quaid-e-Azam to write Pakistan’s national anthem three days before the creation of Pakistan in 1947.” He claims that Muhammad Ali Jinnah actually approved the song by Azad and the text was publicised, but can quote only the two top lines: “Ae sarzameene paak/ Zarray hain tere aaj sitaron se tabnaak/ Roshan hai kehkashaan se kaheen aaj teri khaak/ Ae sarzameene paak (O, sacred land of Pakistan, the stars themselves illuminate each particle of yours/ rainbows illumine your very dust).” Azad thought the task was urgent and finished the poem in three days.