Listening to music is fine but expecting that playing loud guitars the rock n’ roll way or strutting about in Sufi apparel will change the world is plain naiveté. Such fools in this world usually gain undue media exposure, financial backing and ego-inflating ambassadorships of goodwill from the United Nations. It is far more honest to admit that one is doing it for enjoyment or for money rather than pretend otherwise.
Please do not cry, it is not our President who has released a pop album. God knows he will be better off ordering the release of all illegally incarcerated terror suspects to make America unhappy for a change. I am glad to report that the Indonesian President, Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono, took time off from battling rampant corruption and mutinous coalition attacks to compose another album of romantic pop songs. He has three pop albums to his credit now.
Considering that our ‘Made by America’ (all our misleaders are) President faces the same kinds of political woes here, I find it amazing to hear the musically gifted Indonesian President whose ‘Ku Yakin Sampai Di Sana’ (I’m Certain I’ll Get There) album features some of Indonesia’s best-known singers and musicians. The 60-year-old former General’s previous two albums, ‘Ku Yakin’ deal with themes such as love, loyalty and patriotism. All would agree that we could use a bit of ‘green’ romance to make things better on this loveless ‘dying planet’.
I have no doubt in my mind that our own President released many pop albums but only in his mind while he resided in Landhi Jail many years ago. Nobody can suspect that he did not name each of those mental albums ‘Ku Yakin Sampai Di Sana’ (I’m Certain I’ll Get There), if not ‘Pakistan Khuppey’. Our misleaders gave us two disturbing unpopular albums that I remember hearing and seeing very well: 1965 and 1971.
Had Ayub Khan released a Pushto album titled ‘Dagha Dagha, Whye Whye Whye’ instead of elevating himself to the rank of Field Marshal, we might have fared better musically—if not militarily or economically—in the ‘global village’. What is preventing our misleaders and retired Generals—who never tire of lecturing us on democracy—from imitating Islamic Indonesia in this department?
This land has never faced a shortage of great tabla-beaters, loud trumpet-blowers, musical-chairmen, shady arrangers and fantastic de-composers. Given half a chance, each leader here performs his entire unoriginal symphonic cacophony as a solo artist and with covert help from Washington—even the applause we hear canned laughter (recorded laughter used in television comedy shows). The result of not having a cohesive cultural policy is that we are now unable to save our unmade faces and fend off India’s Bollywood Brigade in the field of performing arts and quite incapable of overtaking Indonesia in the pop album race.
The Indonesian President, popularly known as SBY, writes on the album cover that features an image of children running with the Indonesian flag, “In my spare time from fulfilling the people’s mandate as president, I like to express my feelings in works of art.”
By sharp contrast, we have people in our corridors of power who fulfil certain mandates: when cronies call on them for personal favours, such as interest-free bank loans, they fulfil their mandates most faithfully, with total disregard to national interest or even to the fear of God.
The Indonesian President said that ‘the songs were written with the belief that nothing can change the fate of a nation except the people themselves, and the conviction of a noble purpose.’
Of course, the Qur’an says the same thing. Our misleaders are believers too in a materialistic sense because they firmly believe in owning an unbelievable number of business firms in the names of their loved ones—they have countless loved ones to feed. They believe that Pakistan can only move forward if America despatches sacks of Dollars and second-rate arms in our direction. They think that foreign investment (read INTERVENTION) will not destroy our industries and agriculture. They dream that if we do the bidding of foreign puppet-masters without asking questions, we will move forward to reach the status of being a developed nation.
If we believe in the above-mentioned pipe dream inspired by the American Wet Dream, I agree we will move forward, forward into the living hell of ever-increasing debt.
If only I could change the world with the strum of my guitar.