Popular singer Jawad Ahmed will be dedicating his latest song to the victims of the Baldia factory fire.
At a news conference at Karachi Press Club on Saturday, he mentioned that he will be performing the song at SITE on December 30 and the video for the song will be made during the performance. The song will feature families whose members passed away in the disaster. Pakistan Institute of Labour Education and Research (Piler) members, who will be assisting in arranging the upcoming performance, also attended the conference.
“The song is dedicated to the workers as change can never come until they realise its importance and stand up for their rights,” Ahmed explained.
According to Ahmed, the political environment of Pakistan favours the middle class and no one speaks for the labourers. Quoting Karl Marx, he stressed that the economy is the backbone of society and everything else, including ethnicity and nationhood, is peripheral.
“I am strictly against charity,” he explained when asked about holding a concert to generate funds for the victim’s families. “I would prefer to strive for people’s rights so that they do not need to depend upon charities.” He also criticised the low minimum wages that forced people to look for charities.
While speaking about the song, Ahmed pointed out that the lyrics were his own but the music had been composed by Saad, a guitarist from Jal band. “The song is ideological,” he explained. “It is the cry of a labourer who works all the day and suffers in silence. The lyrics try to express what he feels.”
The executive director of Piler, Karamat Ali, said that disasters such as Baldia bring together artists, poets and singers in other countries. This doesn’t happen in Pakistan, he lamented.
He said that Piler had approached Jawad Ahmed to make the song for the victims of the factory fire. “We want to pay tribute to the victims and show solidarity with their families,” he explained. “We want the government and the concerned authorities to take serious steps so that such incidents don’t happen again.”
Published in The Express Tribune, December 23rd, 2012.
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