By Abhishek Jha:
In the dark times
Will there also be singing?
Yes, there will also be singing
About the dark times.
These lines from Brecht reflect the sentiment of each passing generation, which, in its passing, wishes to take the world a notch ahead of where it previously was. These are also the lines on a mural where musicians from the Majma Music group perform a protest song.
A bare-chested man in Khaki shorts uses props to remind us of a spate of recent events in the country that make for a blotted leaf in Indian history. India remains only a sovereign democratic republic, with the words “socialist” and “secular” struck through. “Democratic” also appears in danger with bans on “Films, Food, Freedom” expectorating on our daily liberty.
The song thus calls for us to collectively walk away from caste oppression, misogyny of the khap panchayats, communal politics, and violence, and asks us to move towards a place where “only peace prevails upon hearts”. Another mural in the backdrop announces the clarion call of Ambedkar: “Educate. Agitate. Organize“. Supported with a peppy beat and a bollywoodesque jingle with simple lyrics and composition, the song is likely to find acceptance among the urban youth as a protest song to rally behind as they continue to look for Acche Din.