If you keep up with the news you know Pakistan is largely a cesspool of state-sponsored violence, political corruption and religious extremism. Rarely is much heard from the opposition. I wasn't even sure there was one, save for a few strident (and now dead) journalists. But indeed there is a liberal, secular voice with the people. As explained in this morning's NY Times, a satyrical but earnest song is gathering steam.
The song, “Aalu Anday,” which means “Potatoes and Eggs,” comes from a group of three young men who call themselves Beygairat Brigade, or A Brigade Without Honor, openly mocking the military, religious conservatives, nationalist politicians and conspiracy theorists.
The meaning of the food references are a bit lost on me, but come the second verse things let loose:
The song rues the fact that killers and religious extremists are hailed as heroes in Pakistan, while someone like Abdus Salam, the nation’s only Nobel Prize-winning scientist, is often ignored because he belonged to the minority Ahmadi sect.
Goofy dudes, for sure (and hey, is that American-indie rock inspired face paint?). They embrace the tongue and cheek and appear weary of trying to overstate the song's popular meaning. "We are just musicians who raised some questions," says lead signer Ali Aftab Saeed.
But then again, not too many Pakistani's are mocking convention, calling out generals and rolling out comedic taunts like a sign reading: "This video is sponsored by Zionists.” Dig it.