24 June, 2021

Thy Song, Great Anarch

A potato-and-egg song taking down Pak’s holy cows is a YouTube sensation. Elsewhere too, satire rules the chords.

Thy Song, Great Anarch

Worldwide, the prevailing opinion on how best to counter terrorists in Pakistan is to smoke them out from their hideouts and annihilate them while perhaps simultaneously imparting to its corrupt ruling class a few basic lessons in the grammar of governance. A refreshing alternative, though, may be the one spawned by a clutch of music groups in the country—satirical lyrics lampooning the powerful, set to drums and guitar, triggering guffaws of self-recognition all around. It’s providing a startling kind of comic release to the ordinary Pakistani, wallowing in misery as he is, perhaps even inspiring him to take that irreverence to the next logical step.

The tradition of satirical songs and resistance poetry is as old as the nation but nothing in the past quite matches the effervescence Pakistan is seeing now. An ample illustration is the sudden rise of Beygairat Brigade (Shameless Brigade) to international prominence. The band comprises Ali Aftab Saeed on vocals, Daniyal Malik on percussions and 15-year-old Hamza Malik on...

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