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Music with a Dash of Social Satire

I recently came across the song “Khoon” by a band named Topi Drama. It confronts the increasing terrorist attacks and target killing incidents against Pakistan’s Shia community. They believe that such songs and art can play an important role to raise awareness among the youth and make them more proactive about social and political issues. They also mentioned that teenagers are “no longer just wrapped up in typical teenage concerns but appear to have developed a wider social consciousness”. Dissent and awareness about sensitive issues persisting in the country can give the younger generation an alternate opinion which they will hardly come across while listening to their regular, single-tracked television shows and reading agenda-based newspaper articles in their daily routine. Our media has been extremely biased and irresponsible about such sensitive issues where they only serve the agenda of the govt or establishment and censor news that goes against the popular narratives. For example, we see irresponsible media coverage during Aurat March that leads to death threats and this year even blasphemy allegations against the organizers and participants. Even in the case of Ahmadi, Shia, or Hazara killings and forced conversions of young girls belonging to religious minorities, we witness that media either does not cover such issues or not care enough as they do when similar things happen in India or some other country. Therefore, social media and art have been of great impact among the youth by educating them about broader issues that are neglected by the conventional media. Artists like Faris Shafi, Sunny Khan Durrani, Talha Anjum, Shahzad Roy, and Ali Gul Pir have also made songs talking about socio-political issues in an unconventional manner that are worth listening to and thinking over.


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Thank you for this post, Zoha! I immediately thought of the song "Waasta" by Faris Shafi and Ali Sethi which tackles the topic of how violence gives birth to terrorists. Pakistan, especially being a country with a rapidly expanding youth population, can definitely benefit from such uses of creative work. One of the issues that creators of such art face in Pakistan is censorship. For example, Faris Shafi's song 'Muskura' has been taken down from everywhere due to supposed obscene language while many forms of media with much more explicit language are still allowed to be published. The reason for this is that 'Muskura' tackled religious fundamentalism in Pakistan, and this is unacceptable to the political elite which bows down to…

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I totally agree with you. In this day and I age we have the access and resources to bring change through unconventional means. Teenagers and young adults today are more aware, and in this past year we have seen that people have used social media extensively to talk about sensitive issues and the unfair and insensitive happenings within our society. Using songs is definitely a very creative way to go about this and will help in reaching out to a lot of people.

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THIS IS SO COOL! Your point about aurat march being badly reported also brings me to saying that the media is extremely uncontrolled and uncensored, in a bad way. Reporters came to the March and were making awfully derogatory remarks to specific people, live on air, with absolutely no repercussions. I am so glad that our generation steers clear of the news. It just sucks that traditional media is slowly seeping into social media as absurd news channel videos gain virality, which is often a double-edged sword. While many critics come out, as do supporters, and the virality of media often leads to the violation of victim privacy. I feel we need to remember the victims as humans instead of…

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apart from raising awareness on socio-political issues such as ethnic violence etc., I think social media has played an amazing role in starting conversations on issues such as acceptance of the lgbtq community, something that does not get discussed very often in schools or even within homes in Pakistan. Reflecting on my own social media use, especially in O'levels, and how it informed my opinions, I doubt I would have known much about lgbtq rights or anything of the sort if I did not have that exposure to social media.

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