|Aiab Gul Delshad
Aiab Gul Delshad is the head of Afghanistan’s Music Union, and also a famous folk singer. He started working with Radio Afghanistan in 1950.
Aiab Gul Delshad was arrested once, and imprisoned and tortured another time, because of a few words in two song lyrics.
|Transcription of the video interview
But through–out my whole life
I never felt comfortable
The burned wound of your love
is nested in my heart
My heart was full of blood
Oh, my beloved
There will be tulips and humble plants
growing on my grave
My name is Aiab Gul Delshad. I was born in 1935 in the Logar Province in Afghanistan. I started working with Radio Afghanistan in 1950.
Once I sang a song:
(beautiful sweethearts) are not loyal
I have heard from my heart
that they have no friendship
Oh, youthful ones! Admonition
has no impact on lovers!
The heart will not be separated from
It is not good to look
at beautiful ladies
because the colour of youth
is not permanent’
After that, a person came and asked me:
I said: ‘No, I don’t know!’
What time was this?
Who was the man that came?
She is thinking that the Best Ones are loyal’
The intelligence representative came to me again…
The intelligence man?
Yes! I replied that the poet had written these lyrics, not me!
What was their interpretation of the poetry?
Because it was considered to be against the royal family. There is no one who can call themselves “the best” in this country except the royal family. Again:
She is thinking that the best ones are loyal’
I changed this line to:
She is thinking that the lover is loyal’
So I changed it again:
I should not be accused.
My sweetheart is separated from me’
After that, I always made sure to self–censor my lyrics in order to avoid imprisonment a third time. I decided never to use that word, ‘khuban’, anymore! And then the regimes were changed.
When Hafizulah Amin came to power (in 1979) I was tortured for not singing pro–regime propaganda songs – not singing lyrics that praised the Party. I told them: I am a national singer, and I sing for my people. I said: If I were to sing pro–regime songs… If I travel to perform in Charikar for a
Did they give you specific lyrics that they wanted you to sing?
Where were you imprisoned?
About the Taliban period:
“When the Taliban came to power, I had to quit music, but in order to earn a living, I opened a pharmacy. Some people reported to the Taliban about me. They came to my house and broke all my musical instruments into pieces.”