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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