Qavi Khan: An artiste’s lament

Published: December 25, 2011
Qavi Khan opens up about his past performances and shares the secret behind his powerful acting. PHOTO: ASHRAF MEMON/EXPRESS

Qavi Khan opens up about his past performances and shares the secret behind his powerful acting. PHOTO: ASHRAF MEMON/EXPRESS


His riveting performance as Ghalib at Pakistan National Council of Arts (PNCA) or his acting in PTV drama “Koi Na Adda Sanj Mila” are a testament to Qavi Khan claim. Besides television and theatre, he has continuously showcased his artistic ability  in films and radio as well. Currently, the actor has his eyes set on a project for the Express Entertainment Channel called “Main Baba Ki Ladli”.

Launching his career from PTV and Lollywood films in 1964, he was one of the few actors who witnessed the decline of the film industry up close. He recalls the audience from that time, “as pure entertainment lovers with no reverence and respect for art, or the heritage and culture of Pakistan. It was the audience’s appetite for obscene content that contributed to the industry’s decline and its eventual downfall.”

Khan, however, is quite optimistic about the present state of television. “The mushrooming of private channels has given rise to great content. Previously, PTV was the only channel on television. Hence, there were fewer opportunities for producers to air their serials. Today, the audience has a range of channels available. Although talent has been given due exposure on private productions, keeping Pakistani tradition alive on screen and staying true to our culture remains our biggest challenge.” Khan adds, “If PTV had kept its workers happy and given them growth opportunities, there would be no need for other channels. After all, there was a time when people only viewed PTV.”

Khan’s biggest criticism of the current entertainment industry remains the unjust financial compensation given to artists. “A true artist is a priceless gem, not a person to be looked down upon. It tortures me when charitable organisations collect money in the names of legendary comedians like Lehri or Mehdi Hasan. Financial assistance to these artists should come directly from the Ministry of Culture. Unfortunately, the government doesn’t listen to artists like me.”

When it comes to his own performances, Khan remains extremely critical of his own work. “Nobody in Pakistan played Ghalib like Subhani Ba Younus or Naseeruddin Shah. If you think I performed well, it was only because I had immersed myself in all of Ghalib’s literature; I researched immensely and discussed the poet with writer Ashfaq Ahmad in great detail.” Besides Ahmad, Khan relied on discussions with contemporaries like director Khawaja Moinuddin, drama writer Imtiaz Ali Taj and theatre practitioner Rafi Peer to culminate more thought into his acting endeavours.

Looking ahead, Khan foresees a positive future for the entertainment industry in Pakistan. “This is a time for great change. Things are starting to move in the right direction. I’m hoping for a revival of the artistic form and for commercialism to fade.”

Published in The Express Tribune, December 26th, 2011.

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Reader Comments (7)

  • Political Analyst
    Dec 25, 2011 - 9:12PM

    A great asset for Pakistan …. May you be our guiding star for decades….


  • Truth Teller
    Dec 25, 2011 - 9:36PM

    Fantastic Actor! One of the best ever produced in Pakistan.


  • Striver
    Dec 25, 2011 - 9:46PM

    Qavi Khan a versatile, graceful actor.

    He is absolutley righ. Give our artists proper financial rewards not charity. The entertainment industry needs government assistance.

    There is always a government behind a sucessful industry.


  • Danish
    Dec 25, 2011 - 9:58PM

    He is Legendary..Recommend

  • Falcon
    Dec 26, 2011 - 3:19AM

    Remember him so well from ‘Andhera Ujala’…one of the humble most celebrities…Hope we get to see more of him


  • NaK
    Dec 26, 2011 - 1:56PM

    my favorate, really a BIG FISH of our industry but we did not care him


    Dec 26, 2011 - 4:20PM

    No doubt, he is one of the Legendary actors of Television industry…


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