Why I am not impressed by ‘Naya Pakistan’

Published: February 28, 2013
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While it is a very exciting idea to reunite two historic bands such as the Vital Signs and Junoon, it also needs to serve the purpose it was intended for. PHOTO: AANIA SHAH

These are dark and trying times for Pakistan. Violence, sectarian conflict and political turmoil have led the people of this country to the brink of a ‘national nervous breakdown’.

We sometimes need a hug, even if it’s in the form of a song.

On paper, it is the perfect time, thus, for a song like “Naya Pakistan” to mark its place in the hearts of patriots who have lost hope and faith in a Pakistan that was once fought very hard for.

Musically, the song has a great introduction, a good beat and strong guitar solos. Junaid Jamshed’s voice sets the tone for the song well, however as the song progresses it moves from being an inspirational song to a pop tune.

While it is a very exciting idea to reunite two historic bands such as the Vital Signs and Junoon, it also needs to serve the purpose it was intended for. According to former Vital Signs member Shahi, the song possessed the power to “inspire the most cynical of Pakistani’s who have completely lost hope.”

I am a cynical and hope-deprived Pakistani, yet I am untouched.

It could be the lack of lyrical genius on behalf of Shoaib Mansoor on this project, as the lyrics in “Naya Pakistan” do not have much to offer. If the aim is to move people through a song, the only way is to empower a listener with words that can inspire and raise goose bumps at the very first listen.

The lyrics go:

“Insaaf ki awaaz uthay,

(Raise the voice of justice,)

zulm ki deewaar giray,

(drop the walls of oppression,)

Haq baatil pe ho chaa’ya,

(when truth overpowers lies)

Haath utha kar maang dua,

(Raise your hands and pray)

Naya Pakistan,

(For a new Pakistan)

InshAllah, InshAllah”

(If God wills it, If God wills it)

Having given the song a listen, I believe that praying for the “zulm ki diwar”  to fall isn’t enough; the masses need to be told how to bring the wall down.

Moreover, prayer is one thing all of us do anyway, before we even leave our homes. This is not inspirational; this is just fact.

Direction for an already mislead population is not there. It’s not an inspirational song, it is a prayer. The time to do more has come but all we get is an “inspirational” song with weak lyrics.

If you notice, it isn’t the big things that bring us Pakistani’s together, it’s the little things that spark the unity and pride amongst us. Little things like the fact that the footballs used for the Olympics were made in Pakistan. Positive news like this made an impact. It made us believe that we are not unworthy and we do have the ability to achieve greatness. This is what was needed. A good ol’ dose of faith.

Why not make a song about freedom without the inclusion of religion?

Remember the lyrics of “Dil Dil Pakistan”? It spoke about your heart and your country, simple. It sent shivers down any Pakistani’s spine and went viral even globally. You hear that song playing in the background in some pan shop at the end of a dingy street in Punjab and despite the dismal circumstances you are surrounded by, your heart swells with pride. You remember who you are!

It is time we return to national songs that really move us.

Follow Manahyl on Twitter @mintsnk 

Manahyl Khan

Manahyl Khan

A sub-editor on the Magazine desk of The Express Tribune. She tweets @manahylk (twitter.com/manahylk)

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