Vo Jang: Take strength from Faiz Pakistan

Published: September 6, 2012

We all wish to see an umeed-e-sahar (ray of hope) for Pakistan, and that will only come about through sacrifice, struggle and the strength of our convictions.

As a director, the making of ‘Vo Jang’ was one of the hardest feats that I have ever had to complete. I went through hours of grave contemplating, thinking, and absorbing the gruesomeness of the status quo of Pakistan.

At times, the experience became so overwhelming that I would break down completely. Nevertheless, some things have to be said and some brutalities have to be faced. Evil has to be confronted and demons have to be fought even if it all comes at the price of standing on the verge of losing your sanity.

Vo Jang’ is a beautiful albeit saddening piece of poetry by Faiz Ahmed Faiz, coupled with the sheer melodic talent of ‘Laal’. It is a montage of heart-wrenching images of sufferers, as well as pictures that give rise to hope; photos of Pakistani heroes.

It pains me to say that many Pakistanis are still confused about the extremists that have brought so much suffering upon us. They either believe that much of this is exaggerated, mythical, or is being done at the behest of foreign powers in order to justify or extend Afghanistan’s occupation.

The fact remains that extremism has roots within our own society. Regardless of what happens with respect to the US presence in Afghanistan, we have to recognise that we’ll have to face this problem with our own strength and for our own sake. It is a reminder that we must stop hoping for someone dependable to help us all the time.

With the recent escalation of attacks and other incidents of intolerance, I feel that it is all the more necessary that we understand the utterly destructive nature of these forces and come together to struggle for a progressive Pakistan.

Confronting this fascist enemy is the most important task for the people of Pakistan today. I hope that this music video will be able to contribute in that struggle by fortifying our resolve to overcome all difficulties, and all physical or emotional barriers in our path.

We all wish to see an umeed-e-sahar (ray of hope) for Pakistan, and that will only come about through sacrifice, struggle and the strength of our convictions.

In the end, however, I am confident that spring will come and wash away all our sins and sorrows.

As Pablo Neruda put it:

You can crush all the flowers but you cannot stop the spring.

Laal’s new video is on the trials, tribulations, and sacrifices of the people of Pakistan of diverse faiths and ethnic backgrounds, in the struggle against extremism in our society.

When you feel all is lost, when your mind, body and spirit are stretched to the breaking point, take strength from the impassioned words of Faiz Ahmed Faiz. Take strength Pakistan, and fight for a progressive future.

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Rehman Taimur

Taimur Rehman

He heads an IT company with the name of Webmekanics, and has a focus on social issues. He is also actively involved in training & Urdu story-telling. He tweets @taimurbhai

The views expressed by the writer and the reader comments do not necessarily reflect the views and policies of The Express Tribune.

  • Samrah

    Please Stop! Please! Stop putting out this extremely mediocre music with below average singing and hiding behind Faiz and causes to further your own profile. Its a joke.Recommend

  • Ayesha Khan

    Taubah……sheer torture. But what a great piece of poetryRecommend

  • http://none Hamid

    Taimur you say this video was one of your hardest feats I fail to understand how this is so difficult you have been using footage from different source and some of them are from the well known documentary maker Samar Minallah’s documentaries please watch the following link. http://www.youtube.com/user/Ethnomedia . I do hope you have the permission to use them .Recommend

  • Ali S

    This guy needs to get a grip and stop hiding behind the pseudo-important facade of their ‘radical socialist’ agenda. It’s clear that Laal is an over-milked bad joke with Taimur Rehman as its frontman (his singing is akin to torture). And please spare a thought for your LUMS students who saw you prancing around without an ounce of dignity for your last video (dehshatgardi murdabad) – that was so disturbing it wasn’t even funny.Recommend

  • http://www.facebook.com/laalpak Dr. Taimur Rahman

    When I sang a love song, I was a pseudo-socialist, for how could a genuine socialist sing about anything but the working class. And when I sang a song on the issues of the working class, I am a pseudo-socialist hiding behind Faiz and social issues. In other words, damned if you do, and damned if you don’t. Karl Popper argued that a theory must be falsifiable. But in this instance, I’m wrong no matter what I do.Recommend

  • http://www.facebook.com/laalpak Dr. Taimur Rahman

    Dancing is disturbing if you are a university professor. Do consider that perhaps what is disturbing is the awfully narrow and conservative conception of what is “respectful” behavior for a university professor. Bulleh Shah, a great teacher, would certainly be rebuked for he wore ghungrus and said “Kanjri baniya meri izzat na ghattay, mainu nach kay yar manwan day”.Recommend


    This is one of the best song i see from taimur, with poetry of faiz ahmed faiz. Extremism is the biggest problem of pakistan destroying everything peoples lives, cultural and social lives, begetting poverty. Today we have suicide bombers and sectarian violence. Laal group is brave enough to make this video. Apart from other halla gulla videos from other hiphop bands, we can expect this from a mature professor. Thanks taimur for connecting to faiz again and again.Recommend

  • http://blogs.tribune.com.pk/author/430/faraz-talat/ Faraz Talat

    It’s an improvement over the *Dehshatgardi Murdabad* video which, however well-intentioned, came out a little cartoonish.

    The power of Faiz is enough to elevate the video to a likeable level, and the video is beautifully made. The beauty of it is, however, bogged down by the melodrama. It’s like somebody Googled the words “hugging, crying, Pakistani”, and everything that showed up on Google Images got crammed into this 5-minute video.

    It’s not as much a video, as it is a drone attack on your tear glands. It tries way too hard to make the viewers cry, and ends up looking a bit disingenuous in the process.Recommend

  • Umer

    I like it, I don’t know why some are so upset. They possibly know the person and hate him for other reasons. Punjabis are known not to appreciate much as they are so super by world standards.Recommend

  • Outsider

    Dr Taimur Rahman how do you expect to achieve your desired goals through a forum where people hardly comment on your posts and those who do have expressed their anger for your quality of work. Recommend

  • http://www.facebook.com/laalpak Dr. Taimur Rahman

    Thank you for your appreciation Saba. I think we have become quite desensitized to the violence that pervades our society. If the real suffering of people comes across as a melodrama, I’m not sure there is anything that can move us to empathize with people.

    You are quite right Umer. I’m not sure whether it is a Punjabi trait. Some individuals seem to strongly object, not merely to my music, but to my personal integrity to the cause of socialism. This seems to suggest that they have reasons other than my music to dislike what I am trying to accomplish. I’d be happy to answer their questions if they would just ask me, perhaps in a slightly more delicate manner.

    Quite true Outsider. This is my first video blog on this forum. Lets wait and see how things develop. The work in question has been appreciated enormously on facebook and youtube. Laal has received thousands of comments on fb appreciating the work. But it seems that I am not particularly appreciated by the visitors to this forum. Lets give it some time, if nothing comes of it, there are plenty of other forums that would appreciate my input. There is no need for me to spend my time and energy where I am not appreciated.Recommend

  • Ayesha Khan

    Doctor Saab,

    Please don’t be discouraged to post your videos and other stuff here just because 3 people didn’t like it. I don’t like your music myself, but that’s just my personal opinion. I’m all for popularizing socialist ideas through art and i have myself shared this particular video on fb and all for that very reason. But if appreciation is what you want, then i’m afraid you’ll have to do what the Atif Aslams and Ali Zafars of the country do….spend lots of money….because that’s what pop music is about. So chill dude….you’re doing a great job, yours is not music of the commercial variety. Recommend

  • http://www.facebook.com/laalpak Dr. Taimur Rahman

    Thank you Ayesha Khan, that was a very sweet comment indeed. Recommend

  • Burhan

    Indeed..a wonderful thing to listen..espacially for those who are victims of terrorism..Wonderful work Dr Taimoor!Recommend

  • Pir Bulle Shah

    We will gain nothing by praising the student when we should be guided by the Master?

    “Iqbal” by Faiz Ahmed Faiz (Naqsh-e-Feryadi):

    Aya humaray dais main ek khush-nawa fakir
    aya aur upni dhun main ghazal-kwan guzar gaya
    Soonsaan ra-hain khulq main abaad ho-ga-een
    veeraan mai-kudawon ka naseeba san-wer gaya
    Theen chund he niga-hain jo oos-thuk paw-hunch sa-keen
    per iska geeth sub kay dil-awn main uthar gaya

    Ub dhoor ja chukka hai who shah-e-gada numa
    aur phir sy upnay dais ki ra-hain oodaas hain
    Chund ek ko yaad hai ko-ee iski adaa-e-khaas
    do ek niga-hain chund aziz-awn kay paas hain
    Per ooska geeth sub kay dil-awn main mukheem hai
    aur iski la-ay say saink-rown luzzath shinaas hain

    Oos geeth kay thamaam muhsin hain la-zawaal
    oska wa-foor, oska kharosh, oska soz-o-saaz
    Yey geeth misl-e-shola-e-juwala thund-o-thaiz
    oski la-puk say bad-e-fana ka jigar gu-daaz
    Jai-say chiraq wehshuth-e-sursur say bay-khathur
    ya shame-e-buzm subha ki aamud say bay-khaber.Recommend

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