With citizen protests against CAA and NRC spreading across India, claiming more than 20 lives, the country is going through unfathomable turmoil. Police brutality is at its peak, university students are being targeted in the crossfire and politicians are adding oil to the fire, many people are taking various kinds of media to express their views. While the Bollywood music industry is mulling over if it should even voice its opinion, musicians from the independent music industry took to their explicit songwriting skills to paint a clear and factual picture of what is happening around the country. A lot of these songs are rap, released in various languages such as Hindi, English, and Assamese. Police brutality, mob lynching, CAA, NRC, censorship, media biases, fake news, are some of the themes that have been picked up.
Here’s a list of musicians that are utilizing their freedom of speech to openly talk about the issues that persist in the country.
Sumit Roy’s ‘Poorna Swaraj’ featuring Kunal Kamra
Delhi based artist Sumit Roy has been a musician known to not mince his words. Often basing his music and lyrics on the current political scenario, Sumit Roy features ally comedian Kunal Kamra in his recently released track ‘Poorna Swaraj’.
‘Jai Shree Ram’ by UNB from KAUSO Ent.
UNB, the founder/producer and artist at KAUSO Entertainment, a record label, released a rap song against CAB and NRC. Since he is from the north-east, his songs have a sense of authenticity when it comes to the issue.
‘Jamia rap song’ by Rapking
Rapking released a protest song against CAA and NRC but the main focus was on the incidents surrounding Delhi’s Jamia Milia University. The theme behind this particular rap song is freedom and equality.
Madara’s ‘Tukde Tukde Gang’
Tukde Tukde Gang was a term coined by politicians for the students of JNU. Madara aka Rahul Negi, takes that term and spins a full song around it, speaking about social issues such as rape, education, farmers, and many more.
‘Odhikar’ is an Assamese song
Other than Hindi and English, there are a few songs like this one that resonate with a regional audience. This Assamese song, ‘Odhikar’, speaks against the CAA in folk flavor. Also, this song is different from this entire list as it is not rap or metal.
Gabru talks about Democracy
In the video, Gabru, the rapper talks about democracy and how it is failing us in the context of the recently adopted CAA and NRC. The music video also has a set of combined news stories, videos, and images of the protest.
Shoals and Naqaab47’s ‘Andolan’
This song by Delhi based electronica duo Shoals and rapper Naqaab47, along with various news clips and short videos, mocks the government for issues such as police brutality, fake news, and everything else going down in the country currently.
Sultaan’s ‘Sarkaari Freeverse’
Starting the song with a patriotic verse, and eventually going to more pressing issues such as the CAA and the NRC, this song happens to be a ‘free verse’ in every sense.
Delhi Sultanate and Seedhe Maut’s ‘Scalp Dem’
As an outlet to oppose the authoritarian state and its actions, Delhi Sultanate and Seedhe Maut released this song with an aim to expose its hypocrisy.
‘Fight. React. Be a part!’ by The Dow Troddence
The genre of Metal is said to be the most vocal when it comes to such political and social issues and that’s exactly what The Down Troddence did! Their lyrics are compelling and completely against the wave of fascism sweeping today’s government.