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Rap versus rap in Bihar poll battle

The BJP released a Bhojpuri song to counter Bambai main ka ba (What is there in Bombay) featuring actor Manoj Bajpayee and Bihar main ka ba (What is there in Bihar), which have emerged as the cult anthem among the Opposition
Manoj Bajpayee

Dev Raj   |   Patna   |   Published 15.10.20, 01:32 AM

It is now rap versus rap in poll-bound Bihar.

The BJP on Tuesday released a Bhojpuri song, Bihar main e ba (Bihar has got this), to counter Bambai main ka ba (What is there in Bombay) featuring actor Manoj Bajpayee and Bihar main ka ba (What is there in Bihar), which have emerged as the cult anthem among the Opposition and the people alike.

The Bajpayee–starrer Bhojpuri rap video, made by director Anubhav Sinha, poignantly highlights the plight of migrant workers in the backdrop of the crisis that they faced amid the coronavirus pandemic and the lockdown. It also talks about unemployment, hunger, lawlessness, and lack of basic facilities in Bihar.

The song was released around a month ago and quickly raked in around seven million views on YouTube; it was deemed as a sharp criticism of the Bihar government that has failed to safeguard the interest of the poor.

Bihar main ka ba, a rap sung by Neha Singh Rathore is like a parody on Bambai main ka ba, but talks about the ills plaguing Bihar, which goes to polls in three phases on October 28, November 3 and 7.

The two songs have been sung, played and showcased across Bihar right from tea stalls to households and small functions organised under the Covid-19 regulations much to the chagrin of the ruling parties — chief minister Nitish Kumar’s Janata Dal United (JDU) and the BJP.

Both the parties kept downplaying the two songs while trying to showcase their achievements during their rule in the state. But the BJP thought it prudent to imitate the Bambai main ka ba to present the NDA’s works.

The Bihar main e ba rap, released by the BJP, says it is “a reply to those who were asking what is there in Bihar. They are now seeing what is in Bihar”.

The 2.35-minutes video song takes recourse to aerial shots of infrastructure in the state and talks about the presence of an IIT, IIM and AIIMS in Bihar, better healthcare facilities, education, easily available line of credit for entrepreneurs, rising opportunities, and welfare of women and workers during the NDA rule.

Footages of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and deputy chief minister Sushil Kumar Modi are also present in the song, though Nitish is absent from it.   

It attempts to establish a changing and developing Bihar with a series of some beautifully chosen shots from different parts of the state and smiling faces, and pledges to make Delhi and Mumbai in the state itself.

However, critics said it fails to show even a bit of the problems like massive unemployment, corruption, lack of basic amenities, and the suffering of the people just like those escapist, dazzling movies that show a different world altogether.

BJP spokesperson Prem Ranjan Patel told The Telegraph that the party’s election song has been “made to counter Bambai mein ka ba, which discredits Bihar as a doomed land with no opportunities for the people. We cannot allow the lie to be propagated. Its makers do not know what is in Bihar. They do not know about Lord Buddha, Mahavir, Guru Govind Singh, Nalanda University, Magadh and Mauryan Empire, and the culture that is praised across the world”.

When pointed out that the BJP song does not show any poverty or unemployment in Bihar, Patel retorted: “Who has given them (poverty and unemployment) to the state? The same people who are now making songs to discredit the state have left these things for us. We are now working to remove them.”

Patel did not know who composed and filmed the song. BJP’s art and culture cell president Varun Kumar Singh said that his team has not made it. “The song has been made by a team sent from Delhi. We have no hand in it,” he said.

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