[Marxism] Pakistan Rock Rails Against the West, Not the Taliban

Louis Proyect lnp3 at panix.com
Wed Nov 11 14:09:12 MST 2009

NY Times, November 11, 2009, 1:59 pm
Pakistan Rock Rails Against the West, Not the Taliban

While Pakistani journalists, playwrights and even moderate Islamic 
clerics have boldly condemned the Taliban, the nation’s pop music 
stars have yet to sing out against the group, which continues to 
claim responsibility for daily bombings.

The violence has no shortage of victims in addition to the dead: 
more than three million people have become refugees, and more than 
200 schools for girls have been destroyed. And the musicians I 
spoke to have suffered as well, which makes it all the more 
surprising that they are reluctant to criticize the militants.

Pakistani pop musicians once had two main ways to make money: live 
concerts and corporate sponsorships. But because of deteriorating 
security in the last two years, the concert scene — and the 
revenue that comes with it — has all but vanished.

Musicians are now relegated to televised performances. But in a 
nation where the West is often the villain, television stations 
and big businesses have little economic or political incentive to 
put their name on a musician with an anti-Taliban platform.

The result is a surge of bubble-gum stars who have become 
increasingly politicized. Some are churning out ambiguous, cheery 
lyrics urging their young fans to act against the nation’s woes. 
Others simply vilify the United States.

This video shows how many young Pakistanis have a different 
perspective on the problems in their homeland.

Go to: 
to see video.

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