…Like no other rock musician—perhaps since the early Bob Dylan—Springsteen builds a wall of friendship and shared longing for American society to come together instead of splintering apart, as it is doing. He temporarily bridges the generation gap, the class divide, and the wealth gap. In other words, his music builds communities of people who want to realize their responsibility to each other. There are several Pakistani pop singers, such as Ali Zafar or Atif Aslam, who could aspire to play such a role if there were the opportunities, the venues, and the support from the state and society.
Ahmed Rashid writes about Pakistan, Bruce Springsteen, and building communities through culture: http://nyr.kr/NSw2HT
(Photograph by Julian Broad.)