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Beghairat Brigade: Truly Beghairat or just Honest?


Aalu Anday by this rock band, a group of rather young singers, who were both having fun, and providing some devastating commentary on Pakistani politics, made interesting use of their music video.



 

The song starts with the lament of a spoilt child (our country?), who is being unreasonably picky about their food. Therein starts the social commentary, about food and inflation, and how something as staple as daal is now more expensive as compared to something as luxurious as chicken. It is imperative to note that this video was released during the PPP government, when there was a rather obvious power struggle going on between the establishment, the ruling political party, and opposition parties.


The lyrics become increasingly politically aware, talking about COAS extensions, police corruption, extremism, unlawful arrests, all in a fun, catchy and melodious manner.

"Aithay Qadri banay-ya nawab-e,

Ithay hero Ajmal Qasab-e

Mullah nassay-ya wich hijab-e,

Ithay Abdus Salam tunu puchda hi koi nahi"


To me, the smartest move is perhaps the use of posters in the music video, out rightly saying what the lyrics thought to be too damaging.

"Nawaz Sharif Bye Bye - Papa Kiyani no Likey You"

"Free Judiciary = PPP Hanged"

and so on.

 

Lastly, to say what these kids assumed everyone will end up saying any ways, they humorously end with this poster

To me, this was one of the first songs I heard with devastating political commentary, humor and cultural know-how, and entertainment value.


If you get the chance to listen to this song, let me know what you think about it!


- S. Fatima Tahseen.

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I think Beghairat Brigade were the OGs definitely, and were talking about something most of us personally can witness. I remember other songs like Faris Shafi's Awaam, Shehzad Roy's Laga Reh, and Ali Gul Pir's Wadheirey ka Baita, etc., did talk about the realities of our country, but all of them were talking of concepts that were more subtle. Aloo Anday was a great example of how to express something we can witness in the mainstream, and I really loved the band for their satirical takes. They reminded me of the Dead Kennedy's actually!

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I remember listening to this song in Grade 8 and I was fascinated by it, and as you said it was the first song I heard with political satire, and then I explored Shehzad Roy's music and Strings song called "Mein too dekhun ga" - you must check them out if you haven't already because they also provide a socio-political commentary on Pakistan. I must share Shehzad Roy's song "Apnay Ullu" (your post inspires me to make a post about it), it is very relevant. It critiques the Pakistani society, offering them a mirror to see how everyone, especially those in power, is singularly focused on extracting their own benefit (apna ullu sidha karna). "sab hazam kiya, sab khatam kiya"…

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This was a very interesting read Fatima. I have been following "Beghairat Brigade" and Ali Aftab Saeed's music for quite a while now and I was mainly attracted to them because of the political shades that are used in their art. Aloo Anday is definitely an amazing song. The events discussed in it feel so contemporary even though it was released almost a decade back. Guess what we are still stuck with "aithay cheeni wi bikdi black ayy". Thank you for sharing this !

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