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Mock revolutions

Published Jun 28, 2012 08:56am


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It is a common human trait when some people get exhausted by disgust, they respond to the dilemma and refresh themselves up by satirising or parodying not only the stuff that is disgusting them but at times their own state of mind as well.

This notion of protest usually gets the most effective results when witty and satirical commentary is set to a bouncy tune and then put on video with the help of imagery heavy on parody.

In the western music scene such ventures have sometimes been called, ‘parody pop.’

Parody pop, or at least the modern political version of it, has its roots in Bob Dylan’s famous 1965 video for ‘Subterranean Homesick Blues’ - a song that poked fun at the political and economic establishments of the United States and actually foresaw the emergence of a powerful counter-cultural movement in that country.

Though so-called parody pop never went on to become a huge commercial venture, it did remain to be a favourite tool of the people behind some of the liveliest TV shows of which political and social humour were important ingredients.

BBC’s anarchic ‘Monty Python’s Flying Circus’ series (1969-74), and especially the films that the Python team went on to make, punctuated the action with irreverent songs that encapsulated the show’s biting takes on politics, the bureaucracy, organised religion and the British middle-classes.

The song ‘Always look on the bright side of life’ from Monty Python’s 1979 film ‘Life of Brian’ satirised organised religion.

The long-running American skit show, ‘Saturday Night Live’ has often made good use of short, sharp political parody songs and so did the in-your-face British political comedy series of the 1980s, ‘Spitting Image,’ which week after week tore into idiosyncrasies of political leaders.

One of its most famous moments arrived when Spitting Image writers and puppeteers directed a video for the famous British band Genesis’ 1986 song ‘Land of Confusion.’

Genesis & Spitting Image’s ‘Land of Confusion’ that parodied conservative US president Ronald Regan along with authoritarian leaders of the time, including Khomeini and Qadhafi.

Then, of course, there was the outrageous 1977 song and video released by British Punk Rock band the Sex Pistols that angrily ridiculed and satirised the jubilee of the British Queen. The song shot to No. 1 in the British charts in spite of the fact that it was banned on radio and TV.

Sex Pistols’ 1977 song, ‘God Save The Queen.’


Till the late 1970s, songs parodying or satirising political personalities or social issues were not all that common in Pakistan.

But a song from film actor and director Rangeela’s 1973 satire of the human condition, ‘Insaan aur Ghada’ (Man & Donkey), encapsulated the said plot in a ditty (from the film) called ‘Aye Khuda Mujhey Insaan Banadey’ (God, please turn me into a human).

The video grab (see bellow) sees a donkey being chased away by a man and then by all sorts of people until he breaks down and ends up outside a mosque asking God to turn him into a human so he too could understand what makes man so cruel and selfish.

Song from 1973’s Pakistani film ‘Insaan aur Ghada’ satirising the foolishness of man as seen through the eyes of a distraught donkey.

However, it wasn’t until the arrival of the long-running comedy skit show ‘Fifty-Fifty’ (in 1978) on Pakistan Television (PTV) that songs parodying social idiosyncrasies and issues mushroomed in Pakistan.

Taking inspiration from the minimalistic social satire shows like ‘Such Gup’ (1973-75), ‘Fifty-Fifty’ was launched during the first year of the stern and reactionary military dictatorship of General Ziaul Haq.

Barred by the censors from critiquing the regime’s politics, ‘Fifty-Fifty’ instead took to task issues like the collapse of the local film industry, violent Punjabi films, lazy bureaucrats, corruption among civil servants, cricket and TV commercials.

The practice of punctuating its skits with satirical songs truly began during one of the show’s most famous skits: ‘Bashira in Trouble.’

Telecasted in late 1979, ‘Bashira in Trouble’ was a parody of violent Punjabi films of the era and the equally violent ‘spaghetti westerns.’ The skit parody’s a typical violent Punjabi film by making it in English!

‘Bashira in Trouble’, Fifty-Fifty (1979).

Another favourite subject of the ‘Fifty-Fifty’ folks was the trend of Pakistanis going to Dubai for work. It was the Bhutto regime in the 1970s that opened the floodgates for Pakistanis to go to Arab countries, and by the early 1980s, the trend had hit a peak.

With the peak also came the proliferation of fake travel agents who had a field day duping simple working-class people by giving them fake visas for Dubai for a hefty price.

‘Fifty-Fifty’ parodied the issue in a famous song called ‘Dubai Janey Walley’ (1982).

‘Dubai Janey Walley’, Fifty-Fifty (1982).

Though even the top satirists struggled to comment on politics and the regime during the Zia dictatorship (without either being ‘blacklisted’ from state media or jailed), writer Anwar Maqsood found unique ways to satirise and criticise the Zia government.

One way he used was to comment on the materialism and with it fake displays of piety that had begun to infiltrate deep inside the Pakistani society during the Zia regime.

It was a dictatorship propped up by millions of US dollars and Saudi dirhams dished out to conduct the ‘anti-Soviet Afghan Jihad’.

Some of this money began to trickle down, and along with the rise of a ‘black economy’ (due to the ascend of drug mafias), saw a number of Pakistanis suddenly become very rich, very fast (the nouveau-riche).

The tendency also graced the cricket scene, especially in Sharjah where rich Arab sheikhs began pouring in huge amounts of money into India-Pakistan games.

In 1986 during an India-Pakistan final in Sharjah when Pakistani batsman, Javed Miandad, hit a last-ball six to win the game, he was showered by millions of rupees and gifts by the sheikhs and the Pakistani government.

Anwar Maqsood penned a song satirising the event in which he said that though Miandad got millions of dirham, his partner, Tauseef Ahmed, standing on the other end of the pitch, just got 8 dirhams!

This was Maqsood’s tongue-in-cheek take of the lopsided economic prosperity witnessed during the Zia regime.

‘Javed Koh Soh Lakh’ (1986).


The more immediate ancestor of the Pakistani parody-protest pop song and video is 1996’s ‘Mr. Fraudiye,’ by the seminal Pakistani boy-band Awaz.

The 1990s were a time when democratic governments replaced the Zia dictatorship.

But as governments rotated between Benazir Bhutto’s PPP and Nawaz Sharif’s IJI/PML-N, remnants of the Zia regime still exercised great influence and power within the country’s military, security agencies and the bureaucracy.

The culture of patronage and corruption and that of violence that had begun to develop during the Zia dictatorship mushroomed across the society and within Pakistan’s political scene in the 1990s.

It reached a peak on the eve of the dismissal of the second Benazir regime in 1996 (on corruption charges by her own President), and the controversial, ‘establishment-backed’ election of the second Nawaz government.

The nouveau-riche phenomenon was often populated by shady seths, politicians and businessmen, who had made quick money through drug and banking scams, fraudulent business deals and through their connections in political parties and military ventures.

Awaz successfully parodied all this with a jazzy song and video.

‘Mr. Fraudiye’ – Awaz (1996).

In content, parody pop in the West had mostly been left/liberal in leaning and this was also the case in Pakistan.

But when the children who had belonged to educated urban middle-classes under the reactionary Zia regime reached their teens in the mid-1990s, their ideological orientation began to naturally tilt towards the rightist sides of the conventional ideological divide.

This generation became a magnet for a number of modern Islamic evangelical groups and organisations. This orientation also began informing the generation’s politics and perception of what Pakistan was going through.

An existentialist tussle took shape within this generation when it tried to intermingle religious rituals/beliefs, modern materialism and a rather chauvinistic concept of patriotism into a condensed (if not entirely convoluted) bourgeois ideology.

The immediate results were: • an anti-theistic rejection of the left-liberalism of previous generations; • the embracement of materialism and careerism but expressed with vague theoretical convolutions like ‘Islamic banking’, and ‘halal practices’; • a repulsion against ‘corrupt’ civilian politicians elected by ‘illiterate people’; • the imagining of a hackneyed concept of poverty derived from old revolutionary imagery of the left; • and a romantic portrayal of the armed forces.

One of the first songs and videos that encapsulated (and celeberated) such thinking came from famous rock band Junoon. The song was ‘Ehtesaab’ (Accountability).

A punchy satire on the corruption of civilian politicians, this 1996 rocker affectively ridicules politicians and the ‘illiterate masses’ (who let themselves be duped).

There is, of course, not a word or image questioning what was (and still is) one of the most powerful, controversial and richest institutions in the country: the armed forces.

The lack of recognising irony too was/is a peculiarity of the above-mentioned ideology.

That’s why even though this video had images of rich, fat politicians (and their horses) enjoying expensive food at a lavish, expensive restaurant, the song was actually launched by the band at a ceremony held at an equally lush and expensive 5-star hotel!

‘Eehtesaab’ – Junoon (1996). Politicians bad, people stupid, military good?


When General Pervaz Musharraf toppled the Nawaz regime and imposed Pakistan’s fourth Martial Law, his ideological antics actually fitted well with the convolutions of the post-‘96 generation of middle-class Pakistanis.

Musharraf was modern, authoritative, hated the politicians, harboured a contempt for the ‘illiterate masses,’ talked about ‘enlightened moderation’ – and yet insisted on nurturing sectarian and Islamist militant organisations whom his military believed would be ‘strategic assets’ against India (in Kashmir), and against an anti-Pakistan Afghanistan.

He also suspected that most rape victims were lying about their ordeals so they could get western nationalities! And he got a rally of defiant women marathon runners baton-charged and tear-gassed in Lahore.

During the early years of his rule many pop musicians happily dished out saccharine-laced and overtly romanticised odes to the armed forces – until Musharraf fired the Chief Justice of Pakistan in 2006 on corruption charges.


The uprising (‘Lawyers Movement’) against the firing of a supposedly ‘clean’ Chief Justice by Musrarraf was like an exemplary chapter from the neo-Marxian ‘Critical Theory’.

One aspect of this theory suggests that the urban middle-classes usually ally themselves with authoritarian regimes.

But after such an alliance brings relative economic benefits to these classes, they then experience a political awakening of sorts in which they want to prosper politically as well.

Usually a demand for democracy becomes their cry.

If one is to understand the ‘Lawyers Movement’ in Pakistan through this theory, then one can suggest that the economic growth experienced by Pakistan’s urban middle-classes under the Musharraf dictatorship, eventually turned against the authoritarian regime that had triggered it.

But democracy was not quite so cohesive a call by those who now wanted more political participation in the running of the country.

The Lawyers Movement in fact brought to surface the long-winded post-‘96 bourgeois ideology that had continued to thrive within the middle-classes in Pakistan.

The movement was a hotchpotch of democrats, lawyers, non-militant Islamists, leftist fringe groups and emerging non-combatant right-wing outfits.

One can say that the overall make-up of the movement was rightist in orientation and not exactly democratic, as such.

Amidst all the turmoil and confusion, emerged a fantastic song and video.

Written and performed by famous pop singer Shahzad Roy, it was called ‘Laga Rey’ (Keep at it).

In an era of widespread electronic media and YouTube, it became an instant hit.

The sharp satirical ditty takes to task the agitating lawyers who are shown involved more in protests and politics than in what they are actually paid to do.

However, taking in its stride the contradictory nature of the movement, the song then goes on to mock the lazy fatalistic nature of the Pakistani masses as well.

Maybe Roy was satirising the extremes that the Pakistani society and polity were displaying: of overt political agitation counterbalanced by numb political inactivity?

Social disgust and political cynicism expressed through wit and satirical imagery remained to be at the centre of the song and the video. Not bemoaned by Roy, but rather used as a weapon to mock the two above-mentioned extremes.

However, though the agitating lawyers, politicians, their supporters and the numb, fatalistic sections of the masses were all taken to the cleaners, nowhere to be found in the song and the video was that fat institution: the military.

Yet again it was conveniently left out by a rolling urban middle-class pop protester, given a benevolent benefit of the doubt whereas civilians and their representatives were cynically ridiculed.

Whatever the case, the song turned Roy from being a popular pop tart into becoming a sardonic protest pop icon.

‘Laga Rey’ – Shahzad Roy (2007).

Though Roy had added a much-needed dose of satirical cynicism to what was being transformed into some kind of a Utopian uprising by the belligerent private electronic media, he was, however, making observations using Pakistani bourgeois perceptions about politics and society.

That’s why his next satirical shot eventually moved towards the right from the cynical centre from where he had delivered ‘Laga rey.’

2009’s ‘Kismat Apney Haat Mein’ (Destiny in your own hands) was a sequel of sorts of ‘Laga Rey’ in which his cynical character arrested by foreign agents becomes a believer but is eliminated by a US drone missile!

It was Pakistan’s foreign enemies that were behind all the turmoil in the country, you fools. Anybody trying to rectify the situation through patriotic action was eliminated.

Again, young middle-class political and ideological naivety and Utopian expectations from media-moulded messianic figures coupled with populist hysterics had shone through.

Thus, the ‘Kismat’ song and video actually became more of an unintentional self-parody!

‘Kismat Apney Haath Mein’ – Shahzad Roy (2009)


Talking about unintentional self-parodies in this context, nothing comes close to the funky ‘Tanha Hai Kyun’ (Why are you alone?) by former Junoon vocalist, Ali Azmat.

Azmat is a good example of a talented lad coming from a petty-bourgeois background who eventually made it upwards to the trendier spheres of the urban bourgeois realms of Pakistan.

Always more talented as a vocalist and songwriter than a thinker, Azmat, after quitting Junoon in 2005, decided to … think.

Bad move. It was like Axl Rose, after watching a dozen straight-to-YouTube ‘documentaries’ based on the most hackneyed conspiracy theories, becoming an overnight political commentator and then a disciple of Deepak Chopra!

In Azmat’s case, Chopra was the verbose and bombastic conspiracy theorist and hate-monger, Zaid Hamid.

Azmat found Hamid’s tales of imaginary victories of the Pakistan military (or prophetic visions of conquests), and his anti-West/anti-Semite and anti-India tirades quite in tune with his (Azmat’s) anxious concerns about multinational corporations and the CIA conspiring with powerful Zionist bankers (Elders of the Zion?) to destroy Islam and Pakistan.

Such grave concerns were enthusiastically revealed in Azmat’s video for ‘Tanha Hey Kyun.’ The video is not really parody pop, but rather, self-parody pop! Entirely unintentional, of course.

‘Tanha hai kyoon’ – Ali Azmat (2009).


Along with the urban middle-classes that they came from, a majority of pop musicians too had been moving way towards the rightist sides of the divide.

This was again proved by the trite and now clichéd condemnation of ‘corrupt’ civilian regimes by famous pop band ‘The Strings’ anti-politician song, ‘Mei Toh Daikhoon Gay’ (I shall see).

Amazing how none of these guys ever remember the corruption during the 30-plus years of military rule. And how it’s so easy to bite politicians but stay clear of those who bite back (such as extremists). Traits also blatantly present in the parody songs featuring on the now worn-out political skit show, ‘Hum Sab Umeed Sey Hein.’

‘Mein Toh Deikoon Ga’ – Strings (2012).


But two songs/videos suddenly appeared on YouTube laying down the gauntlet to directly challenge the right-wing swing of the urban middle-classes and the media.

Both became massive hits, suggesting that within the said class there were still large sections of young Pakistanis who were exhausted by the intransigent narratives being fed to them.

First song was by the band Bayghairat Brigade (Dishonourable Brigade).

The song and video came down hard on the sacred cows fattened by the self-claimed Ghairatmands (the honourable patriots). The satirised cows included military dictators, the ISI and jihadists; as well as middle-class hypocrisies and right-wing parties like Imran Khan’s PTI, PML-N and Jamat-i-Islami.

With biting satirical irreverence and joyous cynicism, the song, ‘Aloo Anday’ (Potatoes and Eggs), sang the unspoken.

But whereas the band experienced overnight success, it also faced the expected criticism: That they were from the heretical Ahmadi sect; that they were on the payroll of foreign agencies; that they were anti-Islam, et al.

‘Aalu Anday’ – Bayghairat Brigade (2011).

The other song/video ready to challenge the ‘ghairat’ narrative appeared only recently.

Though, equally effective in its satirical content as ‘Aloo Anday’ was, Ali Gul Pir’s ‘Waderey Ka Beta’ (Son of a feudal lord), is simpler in essence but still manages to work on multiple levels.

On the obvious level it pokes fun at the slacker antics of a spoiled brat of a rich Sindhi feudal lord.

But it did two other things as well: First, Pir’s mocking of feudalism is done in a way that it also satirises a kind of paranoid repulsion that the urban middle-classes feel towards those from semi-rural or rural backgrounds and cultures.

In the scene where he is bouncing on a sofa between two young ‘Burger’ girls is like him actually celebrating the outlandish behaviour of the feudal’s son at the expense of the city girls’ xenophobic horror.

Secondly, by coming up with a song satirising the social aspects of feudalism and bourgeois urbanites, Pir consciously turns his back to the burning/breaking news ‘issues’ with which the media is obsessed.

Pir seems to be more interested on commenting on everyday people than in sensational political abstractions and imaginary demons.

‘Waderey ka Beta’ – Ali Gul Pir (2012).

Nadeem F. Paracha is a cultural critic and senior columnist for Dawn Newspaper and

The views expressed by this blogger and in the following reader comments do not necessarily reflect the views and policies of the Dawn Media Group.


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Nadeem F. Paracha is a cultural critic and senior columnist for Dawn Newspaper and He is also the author of two books on the social history of Pakistan, End of the Past and The Pakistan Anti-Hero.

He tweets @NadeemfParacha

The views expressed by this writer and commenters below do not necessarily reflect the views and policies of the Dawn Media Group.

Comments (48) Closed

Nadeem Mirza Jul 01, 2012 10:18pm
Nadeem sahib, you mentioned "Staurday night live", Bob Dylan, and others but you missed "Weird Al" Yankovic. Do you remeber his Michael Jackson's parody of "Beat It" and "Bad" to "Eat It" and "Fat", and other work also? Very funny. You covered quite a few years of some very hard work, by very talented and courageous people. 50-50 was way ahead of its time, still relevent, unbeleivable! Very good job in covering last 40 some odd years of work. Nostalgia!!!
Ali Jun 28, 2012 01:31pm
I ditto Mehmmod. Fascinating piece.
Gulap Jun 28, 2012 08:46pm
I think there is a gap (blackhole) here. PPP like every political party could use hypocracy for political gains and they probably won't deny it - if a worker of PPP denies it , its a different story. However, it (hypocracy) becomes more irritating with the right wing political 'regimes' who claim - and supposedly base theirselves on - clean, divine and Godly principals and then everyone knows what happens. NFP has ideoligical scars from uni life (which people never seem to forget) from JTI - and he continues to react.
Riz Jun 28, 2012 12:07pm
Cover page of latest India Today magazine reads “Corrupt politicians, judges and journalists have driven Pakistan’s democracy to despair”. Amazing! Why our military is not visible to the Indians too. REALITY BITES…??
Mustafa Razavi Jun 29, 2012 07:12am
Mind is like a parachute, when it is closed you arrive at the conclusion very quickly. No wonder NFP has a lot of fans across the border.
Nadeem Mirza Jul 01, 2012 10:31pm
What a mess!!! May Allah help us to get rid of all these evils, and show us the right path to bring about the positive changes. Amin! Millat Ke Sath Rabta Ustawar Rakh Pewasta Reh Shajar Se, Umeed-e-Bahar Rakh! (Keep very strong communication with the nation Remain attached to the tree and have spring’s expectation!)
Ayaash Jun 28, 2012 03:38pm
If you are a politician in Pakistan and you don't throw out words like Mashallah, Inshallah etc, you probably won't get too far. So if Imran Khan is using them, good for him and good for us. In fact, I don't care if Imran Khan is a Jew set out to demonize (convert to Judaism) Pakistanis, but if it means for the betterment of Pakistan and her inhabitants. People are tired, as much of your rhetoric as of Imran's. We are repeatedly told that all parties except PPP are hypocrisies. All the wrong words conveniently become synonymous with "right wing"- though ideologically I am also against it. What have we ever taken out of the "democracies" we have had so far. It gives the bigger of evils (The glorified Pak Army) a chance to come in to power because the so called "guards of democracy" are hellbent on doing anything but for the better of the country. So next time you think about turning your umpteenth article in to the same old sob story, please think again.
Khair-Khwah Jun 29, 2012 03:22am
Feudalism or "Wadera Shahi" is like a flesh eating disease, which is gradually eating the inner cores of our national resources and is proving to be a huge obstruction in the way of our progress as a nation. Every ruler we have had so far, either (mock) democratically elected or self imposed, once get into the "kursee" start acting like that they have been given the god given right to be a "Wadera" and think of the country as their personal "Jaageer". To move the country in the right direction we have to bring revolutionary changes in our political and social systems where no one should be above the law. The power should lie in the hands of the people of a country and rulers to be their servants, NOT THE OTHER WAY AROUND.
ghazi Jun 28, 2012 04:55pm
Its high time you started a talk show. Atleast you have the knowledge and gutts to counter the nut jobs who pose as talk show hosts. You are a street fighter with an intellect of a writer. I bet you will be a hit. Leftist left.
rk singh Jun 29, 2012 09:06am
good article.
faraz Jun 29, 2012 04:30am
change needs to come within' - I second.
faraz Jun 29, 2012 04:36am
Sometime ago, I read an article from the author which was the only one that looked unbiased to me.
Sabiha Jun 29, 2012 04:57am
Great article. NFP when on earth are you going to write that book?
Nadeem Mirza Jul 01, 2012 09:27pm
Amazing insight and research by the author. Simply great! Thanks for sharing!
Mr.T Jun 30, 2012 05:49pm
what a shame, we are making fun of our self, or forefather our nation and enjoying. Pakistan is full of people not much of Pakistani lives in this country.
Khurram Jul 01, 2012 07:12pm
What r you trying to say? NFP, Mr. Cultural analyst, we know. We know that we are living in a elitist society. Face it ans be critical about it.
aloneinlonelyplanet Jun 30, 2012 05:53pm
Sorry Tipu, u r wrong in every aspect!
Mustafa Razavi Jun 29, 2012 06:15am
Taal-e-Sukhan Shanas keh tahseen-e-Na Shinas.
Karachi Wala Jun 28, 2012 03:51pm
I have watched ‘Aalu Anday’ by Bayghairat Brigade quite a few times. I do not know how everyone else feels but each time when I have watched this video; instead bringing a smile it somehow brings pain to my heart.
Sohaib YAHIA Jun 29, 2012 02:22am
Absolutely true! Demand of clean governance has nothing to do with 'right' or left'. It is just that this demand should remain consistent and equally vociferous during the times when we are ruled by military mights or their hand-picks to make it credible.
Aadil Jillani Jun 28, 2012 10:23am
political satire has revolutionized youth of Pakistan which will pay back inshallah.
Syed Ali America Jun 28, 2012 10:37am
Sharp, insightful and informative as ever, Paracha. But you demolished Ali Azmat. And, yes, I agree, none of local parody men apart from Ali Aftab's Baighairat Brigade had the guts to name the sacred cows. Also, even though I agree with you about what happened to the young generation after mid 1990s, but you yourself have agreed that exceptions are appearing, such as B Brigade and Ali Pir.
@TheseLongWars Jun 28, 2012 10:36am
I would add 4Man Show's Inquilab Murdabad; a reclamation of the leftist rhetoric reactionary elements had taken from the revolutionary left Considering how much the Tehreek--Insaaf, a rightwing group has abused the word revolution, maybe killing the word is appropriate
ghaleezguftar Jun 28, 2012 04:58pm
Everything was going fine while for the first time I was enjoying reading NFP when suddenly he sneaked up behind Ali Azmat and pulled his pants down for no reason. It was history until there was commentary!
Ali S Jun 28, 2012 10:38am
Good analysis, NFP's views on the media are always worth reading, but it seems like his ideal of a protest song would be something released by PPP's media wing.
Farhan Jun 28, 2012 10:39am
Amazing how demanding clean governance translates into being "right-wing".
Aamir Jun 28, 2012 10:44am
Wow, the Ali Pir review was amazing. You surely cracked the shades 'urban burgers' were using while watching and laughing at Pir's portrayal of feudalism. :) Btw, where is Saad Haroons 'Burqa Woman?' Anyway, you undermine the role YOU have played in popularizing political satire. I personally know that people like Pir, Saad, Ali Aftab and the guys who made that Hamsafar parody are huge fans of yours. About time you now wrote a song for some of these guys.
Tipu Jun 29, 2012 08:47pm
I am sorry to say but Pakistan is a failed state. A State that has the most corrupt person "Zardari" as his president, deserves a shameful applause. Pakistanis are not like Arabs, even if they try to revolt, who is going to replace who. A corrupt person is replaced by another. I think the only solution for pakistan is periodic "10 yrs" army rules becasue democracy just gives chance to these waderas and industrialist to earn riches. I am really ashamed to be a Pakistani.
Syed Jun 29, 2012 12:25pm
nah, we need more than that ... but a wishful thinking nevertheless.
Musarat Ali Jun 29, 2012 03:02pm
Reblogged this on musaratali.
Atif Jul 01, 2012 02:40pm
A very well written piece Nadeem!
Noorani Jun 29, 2012 10:26am
in the land of dirt --- the right-- the left -- the rightist, the leftist, modernist --- but all that we have is OPPORTUNIST.
Ahmad Jul 02, 2012 05:18am
Good Read! adding in to the list: 'Bum Phata' by Ali Azmat is also worth mentioning here.... and the song's video points out various stakeholders incl. the military who led us to a war which we shouldn't have been a part off.
Muhammad Ahmed Jul 02, 2012 02:18am
I think this is missing major contribution by Laal when they revived Jalib for many youngsters. NFP you need to write something abt them as well.
Muhammad Ahmed Jul 02, 2012 02:21am
Dr and Billa?????
SOcho Jun 28, 2012 10:30pm
"The Khans, the The Maliks, The Shareefs, The Musharrafs, the Hussains"... mark my words, they can't bring the change. NO one person in Pakistan specially can bring the change. Haven't you seen (or if young) read the history of Pakistan? The change needs to come within, from each one of us. What can Imran Khan do? The entire population hushes the law and order, the entire system is corrupt not just for the people but also "by the people". The list is too long to list here. The question is "Do" the Pakistanis have the ____s to bring a change, are they ready for revolution? Are we ready to take the streets, like Egypt? I don't think so.
aaa Jun 28, 2012 10:16pm
What is parody and what is satire depends completely on what intellectual level you have. The comments given on these songs are views of one mindset. Same videos can be seen by different people and can be interpreted in many different ways.
Karachi Wala Jun 28, 2012 02:03pm
Ditto!!! I can not add anything more to what you have said. specially, "I loved the way you deconstructed Junoon, Roy and Strings videos." I will really have to think deep and hard to add either to NFP's article or to your comment.
Hasanalirana Jun 28, 2012 07:19pm
One of the most comprehensive reviews about PPP . 'Parody pop in Pakistan', No wonder NFP was once a music journalist. Going back to his Good old Music school with Political/social wits.
Mustapha J. Jun 28, 2012 07:08pm
@ghazi Oh, he's a sreet fighter alright. At college he never shied away from physically confronting Zia ul Haq's cops and the Jamaties and yet was one of the finest ideologues and intellectuals among the progressive groups. His intellect has continued to grow and now he channels his street fighting skills in the way he constructs his articles. As he once said: "People like me in a country like Pakistan are always at war."
zeeshan Jun 28, 2012 05:57pm
i agree with you Ayaash. when we talk about hypocrisy, PPP is no exception. i just give one example of its hypocrisy, before the general election 2008 after the murder of BB, zardari called Q league the Qatil league. but now same Qatil league is in the govt. even perviz ilahi now have become deputy PM. so there is no divine of left and right exist in Pakistan.
Shandar Jun 28, 2012 08:43am
Pir and Beyghairat Brigade guys have certainly changed the rules of the game.
Shandar Jun 28, 2012 08:44am
This is pretty awesome, really. NFP continues to be the most versatile and interesting columnists in Pakistan.
Ali Ahsan Jun 28, 2012 09:12am
Another great example of 'pop parody' that emerged in the West in 1960s with Tom Paxton's poem "What did you learn in school today?" Such a song can be easily be applied to our Pak Studies centric education too.
Sohaib YAHIA Jun 28, 2012 09:22am
"Amazing how none of these guys ever remember the corruption during the 30-plus years of military rule. And how it’s so easy to bite politicians but stay clear of those who bite back (such as extremists)." Simply too good!!! NFP you have both brains and vision Masha Allah; keep it up!
Mehmood Jun 28, 2012 09:32am
NFP, how deep is your hat? You keep pulling out one great piece of writing after another. Kudos. Btw, that Insan Aiur Ghada video was way ahead of its time. And I loved the way you deconstructed Junoon, Roy and Strings videos. Top article.
aliqizalbash Jun 28, 2012 09:37am
Great post NFP!
Waqar Saleem Jun 28, 2012 09:53am
I am sure NFP would appreciate intelligent commentary on the article.