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Hum Nadaan – “Raise a fist against hatred”

“Hum Nadaan” is an original by the Pakistani band Bayaan. They also won the third season of Pepsi Battle of the Bands. The song carries a profound social message about the need for humanity to rise above differences of caste, creed, color, race, etc. It highlights how disputes based on religious and political differences widen the rifts between communities. The following lyrics of the song hold a great deal of meaning:

Daulat nafrat ka khel ye ghinauna kab tak

Kab tak zulmat ke saamnay jhukein ge sar

Jaanein ge kab ik noor se banay hain hum aur

Hum hi tou hain nadaan

This also makes me realize that musical compositions don’t necessarily have to be “commercial” in terms of their content and that they serve as important media texts in attracting global audiences and propagating positive messages that could (potentially) become vehicles of change. The comments under the music video for this, especially those from Indian viewers, serve as evidence:

“If the land of Pakistan can conceive such extremely talented artists, I wonder why we ain't breaking all the borders, killing all the politics to let this music flow all over the world and bring us all under an umbrella of humanity and brotherhood…”

Another one says,

“We Indians have got so much to learn from this song. Especially under the current regime. To peace and brotherhood.”

Moreover, I personally feel that the video is incredible. In one of our lectures on analysing a media text, we studied about visual analysis i.e. the deconstruction of visual material to reveal the mechanisms at work in specific representations. As the song nears its end, we see that the “still” characters in the video come to life as the vocalist sings the lyrics that speak of learning to live in peaceful co-existence. What particularly stood out to me is the visual where the two parties of men (divided by a wall or “border”) drop their weapons and expressions of rage, hate and tension begin to leave their faces. This can also be linked to Barthes’s semiotic approach where images/visuals have layered meanings. While the literal depiction or “denotation” may show a change in the characters’ body languages, the deeper meaning the visual holds or its “connotations” suggest the need for tolerance and to put aside differences to make this world a better place.

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