Whenever art has intersected in the political discourse, it has given it a new dimension altogether. And whenever that has happened, we realised how inherently political art is. And not only political, but it is beautiful, meaningful and has the ability to conduit change.
Given the current political climate, citizens have taken to the street to protest against the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) and the proposed National Register of Citizens (NRC). In response, they have been treated with police brutality, and the country’s top universities are under attack for their forthright expressions and stand against such Bills. From across the protests, some powerful piece of art has emerged in the form of poetry and songs.
Given the current political climate, here is a protest playback that should be included in your playlist if it isn’t there already.
1. ‘Saazish’ by Javed Akhtar
“Mujhe toh ye lagta hain jaise kisine ye saazish rachi hain
Ke labz aur mane main jo rishta hain,
usko jitna bhi mumkin ho kamzor kar do …”
The dissenting voice of Javed Akhtar questions how words have lost its meaning in a country where freedom of speech has become a myth. Javed Akhtar recited the poem in Kunal Kamra’s Podcast called ‘Shut Up Ya Kunal’, Yogendra Yadav was one of the guests in the episode.
2. ‘Hum Kagaz Nahi Dikhayenge’ by Varun Grover
“Tanashah Ake Jayenge
Hum Kagaz Nahi Dikhayenge
Tum Aansu Gas Uchaloge
Tum Zeher Ki Chai Ubaloge
Hum Pyaar Ki Shakkar Ghol Ke Usko
Gat Gat Gat Pee Jayenge
Hum Kagaz Nahi Dikhayenge …”
The stand-up comedian, writer and lyricist, Varun Grover wrote this poem in light of the National Register of Citizens (NRC). The poem has become an original slogan in the protest against CAA and NRC.
The poem has been adapted in Bengali by the artists of Bengali film industry such as Konkona Sen Sharma, Swastika Mukherjee, Sabyasachi Chakraborty, Rupam Islam amongst others and recited “Aamra Kagoj Dekhabo Na”.
3. ‘Ye Tukde Tukde Kya Hain?’ By Seven & Seven
“Halak Se Nikli Baat Yaha JNU Kyu Sasta Hain
Sawaal Banta Tera Private College Main Kyu Kat Ta
Satta Pe Baithe Leech, Fees Se Gareeb Noche
Yahan Ghoose Deke Pedhne Waale JNU Pe Bhonke …”
A rap by Rahul Negi who goes by the name Madara, produced by Seven & Seven, the poetry covers everything from JNU fee hike to questioning politicians with bizarre statements to women safety and opposing CAA and NRC.
4. ‘Ye Hain Jamia Ki Ladkiyaan’ by Aamir Aziz
“Shahon Ko Benaqaab Karti Hain
Shahon Ko Benaqaab Karti Hain
Isharo Se Inqalaab Karti Hain Jamiya Ki Ladkiya …”
After Ache Din Blues, Aziz is back with another poem and this time he has written to salute the bravery of the Jamia girls after the police brutality in the university.
5. ‘Tum Kon Ho Be’ by Puneet Sharma
“Hindustan Se Mera Seedha Rishta Hain
Tum Kon Ho Be?
Kyu Batlau Tumko Ki Kitna Gehra Hain? …”
In the protest near Gateway of India, Puneet Sharma said who the hell are you to question my relationship with my country.