KHUDA KI BASTI… The Mother Of All Serials!
(Telecast 50 Years Ago From PTV Karachi)
…written by Late Shaukat Siddiqui, was the first ever novel to be translated into 11 languages…..This novel was also the first one to win the Adamjee Adabi Inaam in Pakistan under the aegis of Pakistan Writers Guild in 1961. The novel was later banned by the Govt., which was contested by the PWG and the ban was lifted in 1968. (Shaukat Siddiqui’s son Zafar Alam has remained with UBL at Deira Branch as Forex Officer from 1977 through 1980..and moved to ABN Amro in Dubai. He still is in Dubai and a close family friend)
In 1969, Khuda Ki Basti was dramatized for PTV-Karachi by Shaukat Siddiqui himself and the 26 episodes of 25 minutes each were produced (Directed) by Ishrat Ansari and late Rasheed Umar Thanvi with Faiz Ahmed Faiz, Jamiluddin Aali and Shaukat Siddiqui on the panel to review each episode before it’s recording etc alingside Iftikhar Husain Arif
The main cast comprised of following:
Zaheen Tahira, Zahoor Ahmed, Qazi Wajid, Zafar Masood, Tauqir Fatima, Qayyum Arif, Shakeel Chughtai, Mahmood Ali, Zafar Siddiqui, Mohammad Yusuf, Arsh e Muneer, Shahji, Shahzad Raza, Andaleeb, Raju Jamil, Iqbal Tareen, Seema and many others.
The serial turned to be a super hit in Indo-Pakistan and won many laurels and awards and became a reason for the first unofficial TV awards which took place at RIO Cinema, Karachi in late 1969.
In 1974, the then Prime Minister of Pakistan Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto ordered the re-run of KKB but since the 1969 VIDEO TAPE SPOOLS were erased by recording other programs–the serial was re-recorded with the same cast of 1969 except three-four main cast members–who were not in Pakistan or have grown old for the character or died;
The 1974 cast;
Zaheen Tahira, Zahoor Ahmed, Qazi Wajid, Behroze Sabzwari replacing Zafar Masood on age factor, Munawwar Sultana replacing Tauqir Fatima who had died during the 1969 serial and her character was given to Musarrat Sahafi—-stop gap sake, Qayyum Arif, Shakeel Chughtai, Mahmood Ali, Zafar Siddiqui, Mohammad Yusuf, Arsh e Muneer, Shahji, Shahzad Raza, Zooni Butt replaced Andaleeb who had left for Dhaka, Raju Jamil did the same role he did in 1969 and Saqib Shaikh replaced Iqbal Tareen who had proceeded to USA, and many others.
The 1974 version was produced (directed) by Qasim Jalali and Bakhtiar Ahmed. That version is now available in DVD and on YouTube.
Khuda Ki Basti….termed as “Mother of all serials” shook the Nation when streets became deserted and everyone’s lips carried. KKB all the time for the powerful plot it carried well describing the early Pakistan and perils of modern and middle to lower class society with social taboos of a newly created country.
Far recently, it is said that a delegation of Bangladesh TV visiting Islamabad, surprised the PTV officials with the news that the 1969 version of KKB is available with them. It has been kept well preserved since 1970 when it was sent to PTV Dhaka to be televised…as per system prevailant then for telecasts at each of the PTV Centre in Pakistan in turn…by sending the spools to the centre.