"Jhul sade jhandeya, uchha ho ke jhul, kamian ne tareya hai khoon de ke mul. (Beloved flag, fly high in the sky, labourers have paid the price with their blood to keep you flying high)."Thus goes the song sung by 42-year-old labourer Gurdas of Gurusar village in Gidderbaha to celebrate the 100th year of the Gadar Movement.
Gurdas's family is registered under the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (MNREGA). He and his family work under the MNREGA and also mobilise other workers from the village to get maximum work under the scheme.
Father of three, Gurdas has a gifted voice and a good sense of music; he is a lyricist too. He sings at the gatherings of labourers. His songs focus on labourers and he attacks the discrimination in the system through his songs.
It is the first time that he has recorded a solo song in a music album dedicated to the 100th year of the Gadar Movement. "It is the first time when a solo song sung by me is recorded in a music album 'Gadar Dian Gunjan'."
All songs in the album focus on the sacrifices made by the Gadar Movement martyrs and the discriminating system of our times," says Gurdas. He is excited as a video will be also be made of the song.
"I used to sing at gatherings of labourers. I often sing at dharnas, protest rallies and on other such occasions to keep the morale of the fighting class high," says Gurdas.
"My wife and I work under MNREGA. I do daily labour too as MNREGA provides work for a few days in a year. We are educated about our right to get the job under MNREGA but even then we have to fight with authorities to assert this right," says Gurdas.
He says, "This month, we had requested for 15-day labour work under MNREGA but only 10 days' work has been sanctioned. You can understand the plight of the labourers who are not aware of their rights."
"I often practise music at my workplace. Most of my songs are inspired from the lives of labourers. It gives me immense satisfaction," says Gurdas.
"I have also written some other songs. I know my songs are far better than what the mainstream music industry is coming up with. That is not art which does not touch the real problems of daily life. Vulgar songs are not good for the listeners," says Gurdas.