Bihar swings to notes of bygone currency

A song in Bhojpuri dialect about the scrapping of two high-value currency notes is making waves across Bihar with its peppy tune.

Published: 11th November 2016 08:16 PM  |   Last Updated: 11th November 2016 08:16 PM   |  A+A-


An Indian man puts a new 2000 rupee note in his wallet after exchanging his old 500 and 1000 rupee notes at a bank in New Delhi on November 10, 2016. | AFP

Express News Service

PATNA: A song in Bhojpuri dialect about the scrapping of two high-value currency notes is making waves across Bihar with its peppy tune and an optimistic message that the days of corruption are likely to end soon.

‘Band hoil ba note paanch-sau hazaar ke’ (currency notes of Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 denomination have been demonetised), rendered in the husky voice of young folk singer Khushboo Uttam, also praises Prime Minister Narendra Modi for his efforts to cleanse the economy of black money. Several television channels are airing the song, which was created a day after Modi announced that the two currency notes would no longer remain valid.

Composed with the rustic, foot-tapping rhythms typical of the Bhojpuri folk music, the song says with playful sarcasm that rich people would now find no meaning in the high-value currency notes they have kept hidden in sacks. In central Bihar, where Bhojpuri is widely spoken, the youth and old alike seem to have been instantly smitten by this song. Despite its explicit praise for Modi, the song is being liked not only by people owing allegiance to BJP but also those who are members of Bihar’s ruling alliance parties – JD(U), RJD and Congress.

Khushboo, already a well-known name on Bihar’s folk music scene, had shot to news a few days ago when she was publicly asked by an RJD legislator to sing anti-Modi songs. During one of her stage shows in Karakat in Rohtas district during the Chhath festival, RJD legislator Sanjay Singh asked Khushboo to sing an anti-Modi song. Aware of the consequences of incurring a politician’s ire, she had sung one such song. But when the MLA insisted on more, the audience vocally resented it and so the MLA relented.

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