Guest Info

Rahul Aijaz is an influential writer, filmmaker and journalist of Pakistani origin. Photography is something that he used to enjoy. His writings on culture, cinema, theatre, music and wrestling are so vast and extensive that he has successfully gotten published in several countries. His presence is observed in The Express Tribune, IGN Pakistan, Asia Journalists Association, The Peace Journalist magazine, Red Bull Pakistan and many more.

About the Show

In this episode of the Global Indian Podcast, the conversation is brimming with the ideals mostly seen as the ‘other’. It focuses on the death of certain cultures leading to the partial erasure of identities. Chief Explorer- Rajan Nazran welcomes Rahul Aijaz, a renowned filmmaker, music critic, and journalist from the vibrant city of Karachi, for a discussion. 

Rahul’s profound connection with music has shaped his worldview, allowing him to unravel the intricate threads that bind our society, religion, and global understanding. As they delve deeper, Rahul shares his mesmerising journey, including his groundbreaking short film, “A Train Crosses the Desert,” which garnered acclaim at five international festivals. Prepare for a riveting conversation as we explore Rahul’s upcoming projects and the untold stories that await.

Rahul Aijaz makes his point through the example of Shah Abdul Latif Bhittai. This person was a Sindhi Sufi poet who spread his influence through his prayers, songs and poems. After his death, his shrine, for years, has been celebrated with his stories and music. The importance of culture is understood by incorporating all these celebrations into an ordinary shrine. People who want to own their ethnicity are against the globalisation of a particular culture. However, Rahul Aijaz is entirely against this view. 

He believes that culture is present for everyone to appreciate. And as long as they treat a particular culture with respect and understanding, people should be able to be a part of it. There are instances where opera has been mixed with the Sufi singing style and embraced by many people. But it is also quite risky as people who attribute parts of cultures to their identities would find it offensive when one of their core elements is modified and turned into a hybrid form. 

Despite the origin a song might have, while soaking it in, it has to be delinked from religion. Being an atheist does not stop him from enjoying music with religious connotations, as he appreciates its other qualities. He voices how he tried and still does to bring his almost-dead culture back to life through his films.

This conversation is a whirlwind of ideas, inspiration and instruments, and it spearheads in the direction of breaking the perceived barriers of religion. Check out this fantastic podcast for a very open discussion on music, culture, and identity.

Produced by Global Indian Series for the Global Indian Network.
Script by Rajan Nazran
original idea: Rajan Nazran

Introduction music credit:

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