Badal De Jahan: a thoughtless idea for an aimless country

What is the idea of Pakistan? What was Quaid’s vision of an independent state for Muslims? To answer such questions, we rely not on the knowledge of recorded history but the groundless perceptions constructed by the Mullah-Military alliance. The ideas of Muhammad Ali Jinnah are dead and forgotten, only the legend of Quaid-e-Azam is kept alive to maintain the status quo. Badal De Jahan by Khaadi is yet another mindless anthem that brags about the resolve to change the world.

Although Badal De Jahan is developed with stunningly exciting visuals yet the message is redundant and rhetorical. The exaggeratingly patriotic sentiments with lofty claims and visions have not been able to take the nation anywhere. The overall political, economic, and social situation is so precarious that the integrity of both the nation as well as the state is at stake.

Patriotism is an imagined order that could crumble in the face of physical realities such as poverty, hunger, and violence. We disguise ourselves as the most patriotic nation on the planet for a single day (Independence Day) and spend the rest of the year crippling the country with crimes, most of which are gaining social acceptance. Bribery is not a sin. It’s a cultural necessity. We consider breaking the law our birthright. Underage chingchi/rickshaw drivers are free to wreak havoc on the road. Jumping the traffic single is a common habit. Tampering with lifesaving medicines goes unchecked. There is a long list of crimes and wrongdoings that we take for granted.

Independence Day Anthem Badal De Jahan by Khaadi/

Badal De Jahan is too broad an idea with no conclusive message. We want to change the world; yes, but how do we change ourselves first? Where to start? What paths to choose? What tools to pick? And most importantly to analyze where do we stand at the present moment. When Europe came out of the Middle Ages and started its journey of enlightenment, it had just one realization “we don’t know”. The admittance of ignorance. We on the other hand are still living in the medieval age with a false pride of being superior and knowledgeable.

This false pride is obnoxiously noticeable in Badal De Jahan. The loud portrayal of patriotic enthusiasm is completely out of place. It is not inspiring, it is loathsome. It’s hard to expect Khaadi to come out with such superficial, run-of-the-mill content. The campaign of Kamran Steel Stand Firm is meaningful that aims to change the way we behave by practically showing how.    

Badal De Jahan anthem starts with a lot of text on the screen. People usually don’t bother reading. But if you read the first paragraph on the right you will be struck by lightning. It goes “In 1947 a promised land found its independent identity….” The phrase ‘Promised Land’ is used by the Zionist Jews for their homeland in Palestine now known as the state of Israel. In the Hebrew Bible, a promise was made by God to the children of Abraham for a piece of land that was later granted to them.

Around the world, the term Promised Land is seen and interpreted in strictly Jewish and Zionist contexts. The creative team that wrote and get the text approved from Khaadi should have been at least mindful of the connotations of such a term. This is not a negligible mistake for a brand to tolerate. ‘Badal De Jahan’ is easier said than done. This is by far the weakest and thoughtless Independence Day campaign I have ever seen. Khaadi is a reputable brand in the industry. It needs to be more critical whenever an idea is pitched by its ‘creative’ agency.