Music as a form of protest is known to have existed for centuries. The horrors and cruelties of wars or the political and social injustices that it staunchly opposes dissipate with time but the songs outlive time to remind us of the human suffering and resonate it when the recurring wrath strikes again.
As the first phase of the 2021 Assam Legislative Assembly elections were being successfully conducted with votes polled across 47 Assembly constituencies on March 27 followed by the second phase on April 1 for 39 seats, a new video song has been gaining prominence among the masses.
Released just five days prior to the first phase elections in Assam, the song, ‘Mukhei Ne?’ (roughly translated as – Is this your face?), penned, composed and sung by young artiste Rahul Gautam Sharma is a powerful commentary on the present state of affairs of the region and the country at large.
In the run up to what can be said as the most crucial elections for Assam in many years, the song not only questions and comments but also expresses an unholy trinity of helplessness, anger and fear – the people of the state are mercilessly being subjected to.
The political parties struggling for the mandate are not only at great odds with each other, but the elections also come in the face of a new set of challenges as the wounds left by the violent anti-CAA protests had barely subsided. A few real-life footages of Assam bursting into flames with protests taking place across the region throughout December 2019 have been also used in the song to highlight the same.
As the lyrics laments promises of rights and security are by gone… as your care for us turned to be a façade, the protest song wails the unfulfilled promises of protecting citizen’s rights and the state, and asserts disgust over unwanted policies of the government albeit without naming anyone specific.
Reflecting on everything that is so wrong about today, the video provokingly symbolizes the political angst to provide a sense of clarity and raise the public conscience when it is required the most. It takes a sly dig at the government’s dream of privatization and also offers an imagination of regionalism in decline. If everything is privatized then why do we even require a government for?, asks the song.
An instant hit among the netizens, people could more than relate to the song which draws its lyrics from the current contentious political climate of the state.