Over the weekend, Lahore-based band Beyghairat Brigade (The Dishonor Brigade) unveiled its first single Aloo Anday — a sad commentary on Pakistani politics and the Pakistani psyche.
The song"s video starts on an unassuming note with three boys in school uniforms complaining over their mother packing Aloo Anday for lunch, but in the following three minutes, the band takes on everyone from Sharif brothers of the PML-N to the “good-looking fundamentalist" Imran Khan.
Sung in Punjabi with subtitles in English, the video features singer Ali Aftab Saeed grumbling about Nobel Prize-winning Pakistani physicist Abdus Salam being forgotten by most while Taseer"s assassin Mumtaz Qadri and Kasab are
being hailed as new heroes.
If the clever lyrics were not stinging enough, the band holds up placards to leave no scope for doubt. Among them are: “Nawaz Sharif, bye bye. Papa Kiyani no likey you"; “Tehreek-i-Insaf = good looking Jamaat-e-Islami"; "free Judiciary = Hanged PPP"; “Your money + my pocket = we"re still enemies" and “Mullah + Military + Ziaul Yuckee".
Well-known columnist Nadeem F Paracha dedicated his latest article to the video. "The name says it all: A tongue-in-cheek take on what is called the 'ghairat brigade' (honour brigade), the band sarcastically embraces a title that the peddlers of qaumi ghairat (national honour) spit at those who disagree with the brigade"s conspiratorial rants and an almost xenophobic brand of 'patriotism"," he wrote.
“In a clean, unadulterated sweep that lasts not more than 10 seconds, (Beyghairat Brigade) wonders about a country where killers like Mumtaz Qadri (who assassinated former Punjab governor Salman Taseer after accusing him of committing blasphemy) are treated as royals; and where Ajmal Kasab (the Pakistani terrorist who took part in the attack in Mumbai) is a hero; and where mullahs escape wearing a woman"s burqa (like the head cleric of the Lal Masjid); and how no-one ever mentions men like the Nobel-Prize winning Pakistani scientist Abdul Salam (just because he belonged to the outlawed Ahmadi sect)," Paracha wrote.
On its Facebook page, the band describes itself as a "deadly injection for deadly infection" and tells people cheekily – “if you want us killed, like us". Apart from the stupendous response on the Internet, the song has been played on Dawn News channel.
Comments are piling up on Youtube, where the song has been uploaded, and also on Facebook. A fan decided not to eat “aloo anday" for a week to show
solidarity to the band. Others, however, are accusing the group of promoting the cause of the minority Ahmadi sect, which was declared non-Muslim in the 1970s.