Whenever Punjabi films, music and literature are mentioned, the first name that comes to mind is that of Inayat Hussain Bhatti. This multi-talented person was born on 12th January 1923 in Gujrat, Punjab (British India).
He was a playback singer, actor, producer, script writer, director, columnist, social worker and a religious scholar. He received his education from his hometown and graduated from Zamindar College and later went to Lahore with the intention of getting a degree in Law but fate had something else in store for him.
Two personalities have played a strong role in steering the popular Pakistani artist Inayat Bhatti towards showbiz; these were Syed Ijaz Hussain Gilani and Asghar Hayat Jaura.
Both gentlemen had an interest in fine arts and introduced Bhatti to the mystic world of Sufism. Bhatti was enchanted by the works of great Sufi saints like Baba Farid, Bulleh Shah and Waris Shah. When in Lahore, Bhatti performed in a play based on Kashmir freedom fighters.
The play was incidentally produced by Syed Ijaz Hussain who also introduced him to a radio composer Master Niaz Hussain Shami. Under Shami’s patronage Bhatti became a regular singer at the Radio Pakistan.
Soon things were happening for Bhatti as he was approached by Rafi Peer to do dramas and by composer Ghulam Ahmed Chisti to sing songs for his film Phairey. The film Phairey (1949) marked the beginning of his illustrious career as a play back singer.
His rule over playback singing lasted for a decade but in the sixties it was eclipsed as stars like Ahmed Rushdi, Saleem Reza, Munir Hussain and Masood Rana appeared on the scene.
However in the late sixties Bhatti made a comeback and not only as a playback but also as a hero and a distributor. He gave three hit films namely Chan Makhna, Jind Jan and Sajan Pyara besides a host of memorable songs. In all Bhatti sang 282 songs in both Urdu and Punjabi films.
Although Inayat Hussain Bhatti is better known as a playback singer, he was also a folk singer, theatre owner, social worker, politician and TV presenter. He was awarded with Nigar Lifetime Achievement Award.