Religion

Rise of Pop Hindutva – Mainstream or Fringe

Hinduism though being the oldest religion has forever remained young at heart by reinventing itself time and again as it does not have any authoritarian and suffocating influence of oldies sitting in some protected citadel and ruthlessly eliminating the followers who do not toe the official line.

India were under the oppressive and inhuman rule of the Britain, whose monarch also pledges his allegiance to protect and propagate Christianity worldwide, for over two centuries. This was preceded by seven centuries of barbarous rule under the Islamic rulers whose sole aim was to eradicate any signs of Hindus in this country resulting in the longest and sustained genocide coupled with unparalleled destruction of anything remotely representing Hinduism. The worst part was the complete white wash of all the atrocities committed by religious bigots belonging to the Abrahamic faiths.

Hinduism stood all the assaults due to its adherents unwillingness to succumb to convert even at the pain of death. India also had a section of timid Hindus who lived under the rule of Abrahamics undergoing a Stockholm syndrome of falling in love with their tormentors. It could still not come to terms that India is a democratic country. At last, after 70 years we are beginning to have a generation of parents who have never been under the rule of Abrahamics who are bringing up the children without the oppressive memories. And this new generation has started to reclaim their legacy without being apologetic about it. The fervor has completely caught the society and the pundits by surprise.

In this article let us see one aspect of this manifestation impacting the world of popular music or Hindutva Popwith saffron-clad youth storming out to slogans of ‘Jai Shri Ram’ and ‘Har Har Mahadev’.

Pop goes Hindutva, with saffron-clad folks storming out to slogans of ‘Jai Shri Ram’ and ‘Har Har Mahadev’ against the supposedly insidious designs of the ‘topiwala’ enemy. A new breed of performers is taking over the internet with music videos that are a striking mix of Hindutva ideology and self-styled ‘nationalism’.

The script is simple: Hindus will awaken to build the Ram temple in Ayodhya, defeat Pakistan and China to hoist saffron flags and the tricolour in every home, ushering in true Ram Rajya. The lyrics are blunt

Tel laga ke Dabur ka

naam mita do Babur ka

or more muscular like

Yudh ka bigul bajana hai

gau mata ke hatyaron ko

mitti mein milana hai

and are supplemented by visuals of deities like Shiva and Ram, rolling tanks and bomb-dropping jets, images of terrorist Hafiz Saeed, former Pakistan PM Nawaz Sharif and Chinese president Xi Jinping.

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Twenty-nine-year-old Laxmi Dubey, in her saffron headgear, rudraksh malas and tilak, does the godwoman look with great elan. Dubey’s video titled “Bhagwa lekar aaye hain” has racked up 3.4 million views with lyrics like “Jisko Hindustan mein rehna hoga, vande mataram kehna hoga”. Another video “Har ghar bhagwa chhayega” has garnered 19 million views.

Part of her sadhvi mystique is her life story. Dubey says her mother passed away soon after she was born in Bhopal. She claims that she left home at the age of five to join a jatha of pilgrims travelling to Ayodhya as part of the Ram Janambhoomi movement. “It is our duty to create a Hindu Rashtra,” she says. The BJP in Chhattisgarh has already roped her in to campaign for the ongoing state polls.

If Dubey models herself as a sadhvi, Delhi-based Sanjay Faizabadi’s branding is more martial. Dressed in army fatigues with bloody lips and red paint dripping from his face, Sanjay Faizabadi believes he has oracle-like skills.

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A class eight dropout, Faizabadi claims his song “Modi Hindustan ho” came out a year before Narendra Modi was elected as Prime Minister. Another number,” Pakistan hila denge” came out several months before the surgical strikes across LoC. Heavy with visuals of marching contingents from Republic Day parade, along with video game visuals of tanks and fighting jawans, Faizabadi’s songs like “Uri ka badla” are meant to serve as warnings to China and Pakistan.

Faizabadi wanted to join the army and later struggled for several years as a scriptwriter and singer. In 2016 he hit upon the winning formula — Deshbhakti. “Laharayega Tiranga Lahore mein” released in October that year got 3.2 million views. He says he gets hundreds of calls every month from viewers who mistake him for an army officer, seeking advice on how to join the force. “My songs don’t promote violence. But if we are attacked, we should fight back,” he says.

The sentiment of rousing the pacified Hindu to his angry avatar is echoed by Ayodhya’s Sandeep Chaturvedi. The 23-year-old has his own YouTube channel and describes himself as a “Rashtravadi Gayak’’ who is an admirer of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath. Ever since his “Topi wala sar jhukayega” became a superhit, invites for events have been pouring in. A Bajrang Dal worker, he recently sang at a programme in Jharkhand’s Dhanbad. The venue was packed with young men, many wearing saffron headgear and red tilaks and shouting slogans against Pakistan. A roar of approval goes up as Chaturvedi gives a call to head to Ayodhya to build the Mandir before he breaks into the ”Naam mita do Babur ka ditty.”

To scoff at the poor video quality or the tinny-sounding music is pointless. The rising appeal of nationalistic songs has translated into half a million YouTube hits for Bikaner-based Narottam Ranga’s 2017 anthem “Pukaarti pukaarti, pukaarti maa bharti, khoon se tum tilak karo, goliyon se aarti”.

 

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