Various Colors of Jugni

by afatqiamat

Punjab the land of the Sufis, the land where its Heer, Sahiban, Sohni, not to mention Dani Jatti, all female characters and the list goes on and on, make the folk lore.

Where Waris Shah and Bhulley Shah dominate, along with Data Ganj Bakhsh, then there is Mian Mir, Baba Farid, or transcending the boundaries of religion, Guru Gobind Singh.

Where Bhangra, Luddi, Tappe, Dholki, rules.

Enter Jugni, an entirely revolutionary genre of music, never ever seen in any other culture. Jugni is a narrator, a female who wanders through various lands and then sings her observations and comments about the land, the people and the events she sees.

It always starts with

Jugni ja ponhnchey …Calcutey

Jugni ja ponhnchey …Lahore

Jugni ja pohunchey …Ludhiyaney….

…etc… As Jugni reaches any specific place…

It might be a surprise for a few, that Jugni is actually a British Gift…!!

In 1906, it was the Jubilee year, of the Queen of England, and as part of celebration, a torch was Sent to the various parts of the British dominion, including India.

This torch, then traveled to various places, to Punjabi singers, Bhisna Jutt and Mohammed Manda of Hasanpur, Thana Vairowa, according to Pandit Diwan Singh were among the two singers that were participating in those Jubilee celebrations and singing at the various melas.

Soon Bhisna Jutt and Mohammed Manga separated themselves from the Official Celebrations and started singing revolutionary Ideas in the voice of Jugni.

This did not go well, with the British Government and at Gujranwala on charges of rioting both of them were imprisoned. History has, they were killed during police interrogations and torture.

Today Alam Lohar and his son Arif Lohar are credited with the revival of this unique genre of Punjabi music, which had a short span from 1906 to 1950’s.

Alam sang the first Jugni on PTV and then in a Film, making a remarkable comeback for this special genre of music.

Then it was Salem Javed, who re-revolutions it when he sang the Techno version. Since then it has not looked back.

Lately, it is Rabbi Shergil of the “Bhulla Ki jana men koun “ fame, who sang a beautiful Jugni , and its Rabbi’s Jugni which shows the revolutionary and political color of Jugni , he sang that with reference to Kashmir.

Some links to the various versions and colors of Jugni:

Alam Lohar‘s Jugni which he sang in a Film

Arif Lahar’s first and original Jugni he sang on PTV

Saleem Javed who revolutionized it with its techno version in 1993, along with Shabana Benjamin

Arif Lahar’s remix along with Mukhtar Sahota

Rabbi Shergils version

Note the political undertone, with reference to Kashmir in it…

And last but not the least, the filmi comeback of Jugni, as sang by Harbajan Man

…this along with at least two more tracks in the film “ooye lucky, lucky Oye “ has Jugni in them.


Let us appreciate the diversity of cultures in our beloved Pakistan by acknowledging the diversity of the people living in it.


Coke Studio’s retention a La Rohail Hyat’s composition by Arif Lohar and Mesha Shafi


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