Move over jingles and improvisations on Bollywood numbers and bhajans — this time around, political parties have hired leading mainstream musicians to sing praises for them, quite literally. And, these full-fledged, five-minute numbers are everywhere — on primetime radio, TV and social media.
Singer Sukhwinder Singh, who had earlier sung the Indian National Congress’ campaign track, has given his voice to the BJP anthem, ‘Saugandh’, which also has Narendra Modi voicing the interlude (‘Yeh Desh Nahi Lutne Dunga’) ahead of the Lok Sabha elections next month. He says, “I am an apolitical person, so I’ve sung it like I’d sing any other number. But I don’t sing anything that brings someone else down.”
Prasoon Joshi, the lyricist for the song, says, “Yes, it happens to be part of the campaign, but it’s also for Indians at large. It’s about evoking pride for the country and not about the nitty-gritty.”
Congress, too, has its own song, ‘Ho Raha Bharat Nirman’, sung by Shaan and Sunidhi Chauhan.
“The song is about development and I don’t think I am wrong if I am promoting development by singing a song. I am happy to sing a song as long as it’s not derogatory,” says Shaan.
Sukhwinder Singh, Kailash Kher, Billy Joel and Shaan
For Aam Aadmi Party (AAP), it’s ‘Hum badle toh yug badle’, with lyrics such as ‘Ghor andhera bhagega, jab aam aadmi jagega’. “I gifted Arvind Ji the song (free of cost) because I believed in in their cause, which is to awaken the masses against all the evils in the country,” says its singer, Kailash Kher.
Many including ad guru Prahlad Kakkar feel it’s a welcome change. “Though crores are spent on these singers, they have a more positive impact on a political campaign,” he says. Some, however, are not dancing to this tune. “Why do we listen to your empty promises in a song? Aren’t your untrue speeches enough already?” wrote a Twitter user, Siddhant Mathur, after one such song was launched.
With inputs from Samarth Goyal and Medha Shri Dahiya