Triggered by student protests, catchy songs take birth

New Delhi, March 1 (IANS) It may not sound as music to the ears of the powers that be, but catchy numbers are being thrown up amid the controversies surrounding student politics and concerns over growing intolerance in India.

From the multi-lingual rap song “Jai Bheem – We Want Justice” by Hyderabad’s popular hip-hop group DeathRap in solidarity with University Of Hyderabad student Vemula Rohith’s suicide – to Chandigarh-based music producer Dub Sharma’s catchy “Azadi”, the social media is certainly crooning a new variety of songs.

Students and youth across campuses of universities and colleges and other places are lapping up the numbers which try to give a musical angle to the students’ protests.

Dub Sharma’s (real name Siddharth) “Azadi” picks up JNU students union president Kanhaiya Kumar’s azadi (freedom) speech and converts it into a catchy number – in all of two minutes.

“I do not belong to any political ideology. My style of composition is very idea-centric. And I support the idea of freedom, of true freedom,” Sharma, an audio engineer who has also produced music for Bollywood films, told IANS.

“This very part of the chant talks about certain types of freedom that I connect with; so I built a song around it. The rest my music talks for me,” Sharma said, adding that Kanhaiya Kumar’s speech related to the ills that most of us have to suffer from.

“My production process includes sampling something that “inspires” me. And then, I build the song around it. I picked the “Gall Kariye” (Let’s Talk) track because I personally feel that people in their busy lives don’t really have time to talk or to have a conversation. So I made that track,” he said.

Hyderabad-based DeathRap came out with “Jai Bheem – We want Justice” to highlight Rohith’s plight that led to his suicide and how the fight must go on. The song and its message became an instant hit.

Many people, especially students and youth, are reacting to the tracks and making their own views heard on social platforms.

“Not everyone agrees with what the central government, the Delhi Police and the BJP, ABVP and other ‘right-minded’ people think about the students and affairs of JNU or other university campuses. The youth wants freedom to speak and to be heard,” Gagan Randhawa, a student in Chandigarh, told IANS.

Delhi-based DJ MojoJojo (Akshay Johar) created a “Yeh Ladai” (This fight) from the “anti-national” speech of another JNU student, Umar Khalid.

A German student at JNU has also composed a track, “We are JNU”, highlighting the right to free speech.

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