“Come forward Tamizha, let us fight! In the streets, let us fight. United as one, let us fight. If our rights are taken, let us fight!”
In his latest song ‘Sanda Seivom’, Tamil rapper Arivu whose album Therukkural released last year, calls for Tamil people to unite against the discriminatory Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA). “Who are you to tell me what I am, one’s motherland is not in their birth” is indicative of the song’s core message.
The song’s video was published on the Therukkural YouTube page on Pongal day along with the message: “In solidarity to the CAA protests happening all over the country and to the students who are sacrificing their valuable time and energy for a secular society and to save the constitution of India.”
The lines “Who am I? Who are you? Who is your grandfather? Will NRC dig out all of that?” take jibes at the National Register of Citizens (NRC) that was implemented in Assam and which the government intends to extend to the rest of the country in due course. The song has powerful lines on citizenship, equality and discrimination based on one’s religion.
With music by Quazimode, the song’s video has been directed by Akshay Sundher. Arivu is seen dancing inside a room, on his bed, and on the terrace and it ends with BR Ambedkar’s quote “We are Indians, firstly and lastly.”
Ever since the controversial CAA was passed by both houses, there has been a general sense of unrest in the country. Many citizens have come together to protest against the Act that is said to be unconstitutional.
Thousands of women have been gathering at New Delhi’s Shaheen Bagh for over a month now, their slogans against the discriminatory CAA, National Registry of Citizens (NRC) and National Population Register (NPR) renting the air. Protests are ongoing in other capital cities of the country, including Chennai, Mumbai, Hyderabad and Bengaluru.
In times like these, music has become an important medium of expression; a tool that unites people and their sentiments. Urdu poet Faiz Ahmad Faiz’s poem ‘Hum Dekhenge’ is one such example. Popular Pakistani ghazal singer Iqbal Bano had sung this poem at a time when there was a ban on the public recitation of Faiz’s poems imposed by General Zia-ul-Haq’s military dictatorship. This song has now become a battlecry for protesters in India today.