Coke Studio announced its lineup for the upcoming Season 11 and other than featuring seasoned singers such as Ali Azmat, Abida Parveen, Momina Mustehasan and Ali Sethi, for the first time, the Pakistani music platform will include two transgender singers — Naghma and Lucky.
According to Mangobaaz, the singing duo have had a long association in the performing arts. Naghma has performed in over 20 dramas over a period of 25 years.
The artists sang Faiz Ahmed Faiz’s poem Hum Dekhenge which was originally performed by Iqbal Bano in 1986.
Coke Studio’s move to feature an inclusive lineup was universally praised on Twitter:
That transgender part gave me goosebumps!
— mø Vote for BAT ووٹ دو عمران کو (@moodymaddy) July 22, 2018
Yesss that’s coke studio every time they come up with something new .. Soo soo proud @cokestudio
— Maha (@MahaRasheed96) July 22, 2018
Win win by coke studio.Amazing initiative by the coke studio to tell the sick heads that transgender are also part of our society & they have the equal right on everything the others have. This is my country, this is your country & it belongs to all of us. #PakistanZindabad pic.twitter.com/vXaIXx8Fe1
— M Hassaan Tahir (@hassaan_tahir19) July 23, 2018
— MM (@madiha_masood) July 22, 2018
it’s highly appreciative that a transgender singer will also be featuring in coke studio Pakistan. stereotypes should be broken. whether in India, Pakistan or any other country! let’s just appreciate one’s talent for what truly a person is capable of!
— shru. (@_shruti_singh_) July 22, 2018
Brands like Coke Studio recognizing the importance of inclusion and presenting a season that features two transgender women? Wholesome. #CokeStudio11
— meem (@meemelif) July 22, 2018
And some were forced to rethink their behaviour towards transgenders
I had tears of shame when she said “Jo mein bhi hun aur tum bhi ho”, reminded me of all the moments when I looked down upon them
— Umair Abid (@umairabid_) July 23, 2018
2018 proved to be a big year for transgender rights in Pakistan as both the Senate and National Assembly passed the Transgender Persons (Protection of Rights) Act under which transgenders could self-identify their gender, are guaranteed right to inherit assets and can run for public office. In 2010, Pakistan’s Supreme Court ordered full recognition of the transgender community and later, they were included in the national census as well.
Coke Studio Season 11, which will air from August 10, has strived to include as diverse a lineup as possible, featuring child artistes, an Instagram star, singers from Sindh, Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa and Gilgit-Baltistan, EDM group as well as folk music troupes.
The Indian version of Coke Studio, on the other hand, hasn’t aired in three years.