Editor ChoiceSwat History

SWAT STATE AND PATRONAGE OF FINE ARTS

Prior to the creation of Swat State, there are little evidences of any real attachment to fine arts. Life in the valley was a continuous struggle to survive. Reading and writing were some sort of novelties to the rough way of life. After the establishment of peace by Miangul Abdul Wadud, commonly called Badshah Sahib, professionals connected to various fields of arts, flocked to the capital Saidu Sharif and Mingora. Singers such as Bacha hilal and Mahi Thaban from Nehag Dar, Dir State used to sing in the court of Badshah Sahib. These two sisters also performed in marriages in Swat for money. Encouraged by their success, other performers, male and female, flocked to the newly established State and settled in Mingora. After some incidents of maltreatment with the dancing girls, a decree was issued that whosoever hires the dancing troupes will submit security bonds submitted and signed by two prominent men to ensure the safety of the dancers and at the venue of performance and safe return.

A court clown by the name of Sharab Gul was a permanent feature of Badshah Sahib recreation hours after Esha prayers. Besides these activities, men having talents in poetry and literature were greatly honored with state services. Historians like Syed Abdul Ghafoor Qasmi and Taj Mohammad Khan Zebsar were holding high ranks in the State. Religious scholars such as Maulvi Abdul Majeed and Maulvi Ibrahim of Buner were permanently staffed in the residence of Badshah Sahib at Barengal, Aqba, Saidu Sharif, Swat. Calligraphist of great skill, Aziz-Ur-Rehman of Kabal, was Hakim in the State administration. Fazlur Rehman Faizan was another great calligraphist sponsored by Wali Sahib. Most of the Royal Decrees that we see today are written by him.

For making a source of income to the dancing women, two fairs were held every year on Eidul Fitr and Eidul Azha, six days each. It provided free entertainment to the general public and the well-off people spent money on the dancers. These public gatherings were held on the River Bank where now the police line stands. Three Rest Houses were also built there for the State officials.

A Tehsildar used to be present all the day to keep an eye on the law and order, ensure the safety of the dancing women folk and the common public. The Tehsildar was assisted by a contingent from Mingora Police. These steps by the State encouraged more non local performers like Naseem Akhtar and Kishwar Sultan etc to come and perform in public. Gul Nar Begam also visited Swat on the eve of the 5th June, to participate in the celebrations. She observed strict purdah and thus performed in a room with loud speakers. Two nights of the 5th June, dancing girls entertained the public in busy chowks of Mingora, specially Taj Chowk. Famous among these were ‘Miss Iqbal’, ‘Madam Jan’, and ‘Mehbooba’.

Fazal Raziq Shahab belongs to the historic village of Aboha, Swat. His writings on Swat State provides very useful information to the general readers and researchers. He remained Swat State functionary and thus observed the happenings of the State very closely. He is the author of two books and his Columns has been a regular feature of Daily Azadi, Bakhabarswat.com and Lafzuna.com.
×
Fazal Raziq Shahab belongs to the historic village of Aboha, Swat. His writings on Swat State provides very useful information to the general readers and researchers. He remained Swat State functionary and thus observed the happenings of the State very closely. He is the author of two books and his Columns has been a regular feature of Daily Azadi, Bakhabarswat.com and Lafzuna.com.
Latest Posts
Facebook Comments

Comment here

instagram default popup image round
Follow Me
502k 100k 3 month ago
Share