“Desh inke baap ka hai chahe jo karein, chahe jisko thok daale jail bhej de…” (trans. They feel that it is the land of their father, so they can do anything they wish, like killing somebody, or sending someone to jail)
In India’s growing climate of intolerance, there are many who are speaking up, returning their awards, protesting on the streets. Apart from intolerance, the Government is also making many integral decisions regarding the environment in the name of development. Yet, there are many who have chosen to maintain a strict silence. When Sahitya Akademi awardee and rationalist, M.M. Kalburgi was killed in August, the Sahitya Akademi kept mum and didn’t condemn the killing. Similarly, when a man was ruthlessly murdered in Dadri, many in the Government decided to forego the issue over other issues of ‘economic importance’. Projects for forest clearance are being cleared at a breakneck pace, tribal people are being displaced to build dams without proper rehabilitation. Yet, a significant amount of our population has chosen silence as the best policy.
Swaang, a band, has come out with a music video that critiques this section of the society that has decided to simply overlook all problems, and instead sip a hot cup of tea. The video’s lyrics are harsh, but the satire is underplayed with foot-tapping music. An innovative way to approach political satire, the singers in the video mouth the harsh truth in a nonchalant manner and the dynamism of the video can be felt through its one-shot take. In an era where the attention span of people is less, Swaang’s video comes as a refreshing change, while also getting an important point across: that we shouldn’t keep quiet in this growing environment of intolerance. Listen to what raising your voice sounds like: