Rappers in DU amass first-time voters with songs ahead of Delhi Lok Sabha polls - Hindustan Times
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Rappers in DU amass first-time voters with songs ahead of Delhi Lok Sabha polls

ByKriti Kambiri
May 11, 2024 08:40 AM IST

Young rappers at Delhi University are using beats, rhythms, and reels to encourage students to ink their mark on May 25, voting day in the Capital.

Delhi is gearing up to witness the Lok Sabha elections on May 25. As per the Chief Electoral Officer’s office, the number of first-time voters has risen to 2.43 lakh in the Capital! The spike in youth voter registrations has only added fuel to the fire in bellies of young rappers at Delhi University, who have taken it in their hands to encourage the first-time voters using their rythmic meter.

(L-R) Pratyush Ojha, Shubhangi Semwal and Shashank Mishra are the young rappers from Delhi University who are rallying their peers to vote in Delhi Lok Sabha polls.
(L-R) Pratyush Ojha, Shubhangi Semwal and Shashank Mishra are the young rappers from Delhi University who are rallying their peers to vote in Delhi Lok Sabha polls.

A glimpse of this hip-hop culture inspired dose of democracy is the youthful zest of Shubhangi Semwal aka Gloris, whose rap video with repeated chants of “Hum layenge kranti” aims to change the world with the power of voting. Her reel has garnered more than 55.6k views on Instagram, and has lyrics that go like, “Vidyarthi netra se dekh tu nyayalaya... Ghute gale mein bhi gayein ab kranti wale gaane!” It’s creator is a first-year student of BA (Hons) Psychology at Indraprastha College for Women (IPCW), who says, “This song is about how as students we need to expand our horizons, move beyond petty politics, and use education as a tool to liberate ourselves from discrimination.”

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Ask what played her muse and Semwal shares, “I wanted to encourage the first-time voters, like myself, to cast their vote in the upcoming polls and be aware to raise important questions. One needs to be educated to make informed choices. This is the message I am trying to spread with my music.” But she isn’t alone as quite a few hip hop souls on campus have takers on campus. Another one among these, Pratyush Ojha is a first-year student of BA (Hons) Political Science at Shaheed Bhagat Singh College. “We shouldn’t wait for good things to happen to us, and hence we need to step-up and cast our vote to bring a change.”

Pratyush Ojha, a student of Shaheed Bhagat Singh College, says, "As a student of political science, I'm very aware of my role in democracy. My idea is to rap about what people think but can't say."(Photo: Raajessh Kashyap/HT)
Pratyush Ojha, a student of Shaheed Bhagat Singh College, says, "As a student of political science, I'm very aware of my role in democracy. My idea is to rap about what people think but can't say."(Photo: Raajessh Kashyap/HT)

Writing songs on democracy, political events, and the youth’s role in taking the nation forward, Ojha is putting in his best ideas into rap to highlight agendas that are impacting youngsters. Of late he can be spotted humming his song Vote Karo on campus and says, “I’ll release it soon on Instagram for my peers find inspiration to go out and vote. Students who are facing problems as immigrants in Delhi, we need to see how they are feeling and highlight elements of their day to day life... Real art is about making the world a better place and as a student of Political Science I’m very conscious of my role in democracy. My idea is to rap about what people think, but can’t say!”

Shashank Mishra, student at Sri Venkateswara College, says, "Hip hop has the power to unite us all... The spoken word has the power to change the world."
Shashank Mishra, student at Sri Venkateswara College, says, "Hip hop has the power to unite us all... The spoken word has the power to change the world."

Their walk as well as talk is certainly influenced by films such as Gully Boy (2019) and some indie artistes these youngsters have observed as idols while growing up. But the message is the same — to promote awareness for the need to cast one’s vote. “Ek bola mujhe/ Ek hi vote se kya hota hai/ Badlav ki aas me lok tantra mera rota hai/ Krantikari yaha chup hai/ Neta tabhi chain se sota hai.” These lyrics are the creation of Shashank Mishra, a second-year student of BA (Prog) at Sri Venkateswara College, who started rapping with the intent to be able to speak the truth about society. Mishra says, “Learning about politics and gaining some autonomy has made me realise how people my age underestimate the power of the election process. Living in a crowded city like Delhi, it’s easy to get a sense that your opinion hardly matters, but that’s where hip hop comes to play and its message unites us all. It has its roots in literature and just like poetry and other songs, the spoken word too bears the power to change the world. It all starts with us.”

 

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