BENGALURU: If you are a social media user, chances are that you would have heard at least a few music videos in the past few months extolling or bashing a particular politician or a party. While the jugalbandhi of music and politics has always been great partners in India, this time around, songs are not just played out of autorickshaws, but have taken on a new online avatar with fresh lyrics and slick videos becoming the norm. A closer look at some of the videos reveals a particular preference for rap music, once relegated to small-time settlements in major US cities. This genre has travelled halfway around the globe to make its presence felt in the upcoming Lok Sabha election.
While 2014 saw BJP experimenting with music videos to reach out to the young population, in 2019, the saffron party, Congress, as well as regional parties, are using rap to attract voters.
In January this year, the BJP released a video with the hashtag ‘ModiOnceMore’. The tagline for the video, shot semi-professionally, read ‘this is a rap with a difference, for a cause’. This was probably the start of the rap battle between the BJP and the Congress for the year with the latter releasing a video featuring party chief Rahul Gandhi with a rap song. From this initial volley, several music videos originated and spread like wildfire among a crowd, normally used to imbibing rally speeches.
The DMK too released a song in Tamil, questioning the motives of actor Kamal Haasan and his party — Makkal Needhi Maiam — while making fun of his symbol — the torch.According to Harish Bijoor, brand expert and founder of Harish Bijoor Consults Inc, music plays a big role in elections. “Music has a rather potent way of helping make a connection with a person. It is this ability of music that is used in election propaganda.”
Narendar Pani, political analyst and professor at National Institute of Advanced Studies, says, “Earlier, politics was closely linked to theatre as well. A tune that sticks in your mind is a powerful tool ...”
However, political analyst Professor Sandeep Sastry, says “I have my reservations about how these music videos are effective on those sitting on the fence about their political choices. They are all aimed at reinforcing the support among the already converted.”
- #MainBhiChowkidar (BJP)
- Banda Apna Sahi Hai (BJP)
- Chowkidar hi chor hai, pata hai hindustan ko (Congress)