Rendering a play or music without being offensive seems like the safe zone to which our artists have been cocooned into.
But anything which is not offensive is either lacking in humor or truth, right?
The urban Hinglish comedy scene that has been influenced by the Western stand-up comedy shows needs more than jokes that are cracked at sexual expletives, marital issues, regional differences, and families. Lampooning social issues with a flavor of folk music and political satire is a band that takes a dig at the million prejudices in our democracy.
The famed trinity of Aisi Taisi Democracy (ATD) which translates from Hindi as Screwed-up Democracy comprises of Delhi-based stand-up comic, Sanjay Rajoura, Indian Ocean founder and bassist, Rahul Ram and a Bollywood lyricist, Varun Grover.
Taking potshots at the setbacks that have taken the country by storm, their repertoire hardly pales into insignificance considering the current situation where intolerance is a subject that sparks controversy infringing on the right to freedom of speech or expression.
Let’s look at some of the songs behind this collective project that is guaranteed to create an impact by making you aware of what’s happening in the country.
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The History Song
“Jo Padma se pange lega to
Bhansali ko pelenge
Hum history se khelenge
Hum history ki lelenge”
The History song takes a swipe at how the history in our country is distorted as a way of retelling it to fit the narrative of the ruling party in power.
Hitting in with the right notes, the razor-sharp lyrics is a cathartic dive-in to how we are being forced to become conformist without analyzing the truth contained in the stories.
From the Rajasthan government reproducing a different version of the Battle of Haldighati to the callous threats banning the release of Padmavati, we have come a long way seeking to logically define the line that divides history from mythology.
Let’s retell truth instead of the shallow adaptations of history that is unprincipled to the core of our conscience.
An Ode To Demonetisation
“Modi ji, Modi ji,
Khencho desh ki bodi ji,
Bhare bazaar mein tumne,
Arey sabki khulke dho di ji…”
This satirical song sung to the tunes of the classic song “Main Chali” from the 1968 Padosan mocks PM Modi’s anti-corruption drive that left frustrating citizens waiting in queue to making conditions worse for the daily wage workers on announcements of cashless ventures with the economy taking a plunge.
Mere Samne Wali Sarhad Pe
“Mere saamne wali sarhad pe
Kehte hai dushman rehta hai
Par gaur se dekha jab usko
Wo toh mere jaisa dikhta hai”
Reworked from the tunes of the classic song “Mere Saamne Wali Khidki Pe”, this song highlights the fact that the two sparring nations of Pakistan and India have more in common despite being faced with conflicting cross-border relations and perpetuating differences.
The Gaiyya Song
“Kaahe mujhe bakra banaya
Kaahe mujhe murga banaya
Kaahe mujhe black-buck banaya
Agle Janam mein mohe gaiyya hi keejo”
The witty lyrics and the perky melody is a pun on the blind religious prejudices followed in our country in the name of protecting cows. With the bigotry bent on attacking innocent men by the so-called “Cow-Vigilantes”, a cow’s life seems more precious than a human sadly.
Preaching on serious issues by peppering it with wit, humor, and music has never been the conventional route taken in the kind of atmosphere that is brewing right now.
In the end, it’s up to us whether to stay silent in the subliminal fear of being penalized or make peace by deciding what is right and wrong in this messed-up world.
Image Credits: Google Images