Media Blog

Pakistanis Fight Fundamentalism

A new underground band in Pakistan, Beygairat Brigade, has released its first video and it is causing great controversy throughout Pakistan. The title of their song, “Aalu Andey,” means potato and curry:

Its scathing lyrics take on taboo subjects such as Islamic fundamentalism and the Pakistani army chief in a way that no one has done before. It also pours scorn on Pakistani society where ruthless killers — such as Mumtaz Qadri who killed a politician for his religious views and Ajmal Qasab the sole surviving gunman from the deadly 2008 Mumbai attacks — are glorified as heroes by some. This is a place, the song goes, where a Pakistani Nobel prize-winning physicist, Abdus Salam, is forgotten because he is from the minority, and much reviled, Ahmadi community. Bayghairat Brigade are three young men with a sense of humour but also, clearly, with a sense of despair about Pakistan. The potato and egg curry of the title is just a way of lamenting how Pakistani society dishes out the same old rubbish year after year.

The song itself is actually quite catchy, and who knows, perhaps this is the beginning of an uprising in Pakistan for real democracy? The BBC has a good description of the state of the press in Pakistan and an explication of the song, while the entire music video can be seen here.