A cry to those who are alive: Newsclick Interviews Bakht Arif.
Bakht Arif is a Pakistani artist and singer, well-known for her song 'Zinda Lash'. The song ,derived from the Cranberries’ Zombie, is a cry against the injustices plaguing the society. Bakht Arif speaks to Newsclick on the making of the song and shares her experiences.
Newsclick (NC): What inspired your song? Was there any particular incident or is it a general tendency against which you reacted?
Bakht Arif (BA): This song is inspired by the hard work of friends and family, of all those who live and have died in the cause of humanity. It is my way of expressing, through my passion of singing that I am not very happy with the current state of affairs, South Asia and world over. It is an attempt to reach out to those who don't feel represented elsewhere, the minority, the youth, the oppressed.
(NC):The song is a cry from the heart. It is of course derived from the Cranberries’ Zombie, which is itself a cry from the heart against the long-running conflict in Ireland. Did you pick the song for the political echo or because you simply like the Cranberries?
(BA):Since early childhood, Zombie by the Cranberries has been very close to my heart, and it always speaks to me and has been always relevant.
The message is louder and the translation intentionally tries to break the language barrier and makes the song accessible and easily understood to those from the subcontinent.
(NC): What has been the reaction to the song? I know that it has blown up on the Internet. What has been the character of the personal reactions you have read?
(BA):People have been very honest, kind and helpful with their critiques, appreciation and suggestions for the song. Some listeners have been creative and helpful enough to translate the lyrics into Gurmukhi and other languages.
Not only have their been constructive responses about the vocals and lyrics, but also about the context and the music video itself.
(NC): You may know that during the debates and protests after the “Delhi Gang Rape,” the Hindu Right’s Sushma Swaraj used the term “Zinda Lash” to refer to the survivors of rape. She was roundly criticized for this remark. Many of us heard your song in this context. Would you like to comment on how the term “zinda lash” is used in our time.
(BA):“Zinda Lash” in the context of the song means all those out there, including ourselves, who are oblivious to the injustices of the society.
It is a cry to those who are alive and capable of thinking and taking action, but who choose to internalize their oppression and reproduce it. Those who complain about the politics and sociology of the world, but refuse to come out and say anything.
Bakht Arif is a Pakistani artist and singer.
Disclaimer: The views expressed here are the interviewee's personal views, and do not necessarily represent the views of Newsclick
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