Coke Studio Pakistan Will Feature Transgender Singers And India Must Follow Suit

Coke Studio announced a diverse lineup for the upcoming Season 11

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:

And some were forced to rethink their behaviour towards transgenders

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.