Though Indian political parties often take inspiration from Bollywood numbers for their anthems, this time some of them have gone a step further. With an eye on young voters, Mulayam Singh Yadav’s Samajwadi Party has bought the rights of American singer Billy Joel’s 1989 hit, We Didn’t Start The Fire.
Rephrased as ‘Mann se hai Mulayam’, irade loha hai — the song is now making rounds on the social media.
“Akhilesh Yadav (Uttar Pradesh CM and Mulayam Singh Yadav’s son) has bought the song’s rights from the original makers. It was his idea to develop it as the party’s anthem,” says singer Javed Ali, who has resung the classic hit. “The reworked lyrics describe the party’s ideologies,” he adds.
Ali is not the only one belting out campaign numbers for political parties. Singer Vishal Dadlani, too, created a parody version of the popular Bollywood track, Bachna Aae Haseeno, for the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP).
Musicians are also showing support for their favourite parties by creating original tunes. The NaMo Rap, for instance, created quite a buzz when it went viral on YouTube early October, scoring over 23 lakh views so far. The rap, sung in praise of BJP’s Prime Ministerial candidate, Narendra Modi, was ideated by a 50-year-old Bangalore-based chartered accountant. Musicians say that these modern tunes appeal to the young and help the parties reach out to them better.
“Our politicians have realised the power of the youth and are trying to get their attention with these songs. It’s great to see them try new genres,” says Arsh Sharma, guitarist with the band, The Circus. “At the end of the day, it is all marketing, and you have to attract your audience. If politicians are trying to woo the youngsters with songs, there’s nothing wrong,” says Subir Malik, percussionist, Parikrama.
(With inputs by Samarth Goyal)