Riot Rock | Cover Story | Times Crest
Popular on Times Crest
  • In This Section
  • Entire Website
  • Seeking good company
    July 13, 2013
    Madras Club is today home to modern aristocrats.
  • Mission admission
    July 13, 2013
    The news of a member stumping up over a crore for entry to Mumbai’s Breach Candy club only proves that the allure of private clubs still holds…
  • High on gloss, low on airs
    July 13, 2013
    As older establishments close their doors, premium clubs offering state-of-the-art facilities and personalised service open for upwardly mobile…
More in this Section
Leaving tiger watching to raise rice Ecologist Debal Deb, who did his post-doctoral research from IISc in…
The crorepati writer He's the man who gives Big B his lines. RD Tailang, the writer of KBC.
Chennai-Toronto express Review Raja is a Canadian enthusiast whose quirky video reviews of Tamil…
Don't parrot, perform Maestro Buddhadev Dasgupta will hold a masterclass on ragas.
A man's man Shivananda Khan spent his life speaking up for men who have sex with men.
Bhowmick and the first family of Indian football At first glance, it would be the craziest set-up in professional football.
From Times Blogs
The end of Detroit
Jobs in Detroit's car factories are moving to India.
Chidanand Rajghatta
How I love the word ‘dobaara’...
Can ‘bindaas’ or ‘jhakaas’ survive transliteration?
Shobhaa De
Anand marte nahin...
India's first superstar died almost a lonely life.
Robin Roy
Sadda Haq

Riot Rock


NEW TUNE: Thirty-year-old Nitin Davar wrote the song that became the chant at the Ramlila grounds. (Bottom left) Ramy Essam set slogans and shouts against Hosni Mubarak to a rock tune

Wen Jordan aka Ranbir Kapoor struts out on stage and screams Sadda Haq, Aithe Rakh, the Irshad Kamilwritten song resonated with more than just the angsty, lovesick hero. It became the anthem for anyone in a mood to rebel, including Free Tibet activists enraged at the removal of their flag from a scene in Rockstar.

"When I wrote the lines, Sadda haq aithe rakh, it was the emotional angst of a man who couldn't get the woman he loved, but these lines could be for anyone fighting for his rights or for a cause, " says Kamil, who was once thanked by a group of 40 students for giving their thoughts a voice through the song.

It wasn't just Bollywood that gave protestors and activists a song to sing. Imphal-based Imphal Talkies took up Irom Chanu Sharmila's cause and wrote a song Eche (sister) to commemorate her 10-year struggle with the AFSPA. "When you grow up in a society which has problems, you want to speak out, " the frontman of the band, Akhu Chingambam, has said in an interview.
Team Anna's hunger strike for the Lokpal also had a theme song. Thirty-year-old Nitin Davar, who has an MBA in finance and holds a degree in Indian classical music, wrote the song that became the chant at the Ramlila grounds. "Jan jan ki hai yeh pukar, baat baat par lagatar, desh ko saaf karo dur ab bhrashtachar, Lokpal, Lokpal baat karo Jan Lokpal". Delhi band Avi & The Uprising have also penned a song they call the Anna Hazare Song.

Across the border, there were tunes of protest too. In recent years, Pakistan's protest culture has entered a new and exciting phase, thanks mainly due to the Internet. The world wide web has given the rapidly expanding online population a platform to engage in political and social activism.

Beyghairat Brigade shot to instant fame with their cheeky song, Aalu Anday - an anti-establishment song that makes fun of the so-called pillars of society - which was released on YouTube and Facebook.

There is also Omar Adil, the Pakistani rapper who uses music to rage against how the world perceives his nation. He is currently working on his next album 'The Mushroom Cloud Effect' which he says is "a metaphor for the aftermath of a catastrophe... the current state of the music industry, my personal troubles, or even my birth".

The cry of freedom from dictatorial regimes spawned a whole genre of protest music in the Arab world. Some of these songs have played a direct role in popular uprisings while others have helped galvanise international support. Budding musician Ramy Essam's song provided the soundtrack of the Egyptian revolution. Made up of the chants of the crowd that he heard at Tahrir Square, the 23-year-old engineering student set those slogans and shouts against Hosni Mubarak to a rock tune on his guitar and the song became a viral hit after he performed it at Tahrir Square on February 2.

Tunisian rapper Balthi's song Zine el Abadine Ben Ali and the 40 thieves is a cutting critique about the former president. Another rapper El General had to flee the country after his song, Mr President your people are dying, became a viral hit. Surprisingly the scarcity of songs about the economic disaster stands in contrast to the flurry of songs released in the mid-2000 s by pop acts in criticism of George W Bush's foreign policy. Anti-war was a popular theme with acts like Green Day and all-girls country rock ensemble Dixie Chicks.

Occupy Wall Street has received little support from the pop world, mainly because it is difficult for mainstream pop acts to be political and popular now. But it spawned a whole new generation of musicians who are writing songs on the fly. Pat Humphries and Sandy O wrote a song Occupy The USA: Welcome to the US Occupation to win the hearts and minds/defend all humankind/Tell the banks and corporations that we're here to Occupy the USA.

Other Times Group news sites
The Times of India | The Economic Times
इकनॉमिक टाइम्स | ઈકોનોમિક ટાઈમ્સ
Mumbai Mirror | Times Now
Indiatimes | नवभारत टाइम्स
महाराष्ट्र टाइम्स
Living and entertainment
Timescity | iDiva | Bollywood | Zoom
| Technoholik |


itimes | Dating & Chat | Email
Hot on the Web
Book print ads | Online shopping | Business solutions | Book domains | Web hosting
Business email | Free SMS | Free email | Website design | CRM | Tenders | Remit
Cheap air tickets | Matrimonial | Ringtones | Astrology | Jobs | Property | Buy car
Online Deals
About us | Advertise with us | Terms of Use and Grievance Redressal Policy | Privacy policy | Feedback
Copyright© 2010 Bennett, Coleman & Co. Ltd. All rights reserved. For reprint rights: Times Syndication Service