As the entire Northeast is erupting with protests over the contentious Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, 2016, a 24-year-old rapper, Rahul Rajkhowa from Assam, has taken to music to, “get down to the point and cut the Pragati crap”, and rapped, “Go on pass the Bill, Watch thousands kill in your name, Cause to you this is just a game,”
A video that went viral on the Internet, Rajkhowa criticises the BJP-led Central government’s move to get the Bill passed in the ongoing Rajya Sabha session, and attempts to, “spread awareness about the detrimental effects of the Bill among those who are unaware”, through his song titled, “Rap against Citizenship Amendment Bill.”
The video which was uploaded on YouTube on Jan 30, has already had 26, 219 views, till the time of filing this story. Rajkhowa, who is now based in Bengaluru, specialises in the HipHop and RnB genres. He has been raising “socially-relevant” issues including mob lynching, gender discrimination, safety of women and even the devastating floods wreaking havoc in Assam through all of his compositions, since he was a student at Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) in New Delhi.
He even took to rap about the JNU administration’s controversial move to cut over 80 percent seats in the MPhil and PhD admissions.
In his recent rap on the Citizenship Bill, Rajkhowa raises concern over the constitutional provisions being compromised due to the non-secular elements of the bill: “The Constitution kind of feels redundant, Kinda of feels like you made secularism redundant, Cause Now you back to dividing religions, Giving your minions, Our land to spread their seeds on, Feed on, Leech on, Given the area India the most populated, And it’s going to get worse, Cause of the bill you created.”
While the song is catching up with the north-eastern population and people are appreciating it for its strong stand against the bill, there are some who are criticising Rajkhowa for “lack of clarity in his rap”, some even called him a “racist”, “another victim of Dhruv Rathee propgandist ”, among other things.
The Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, passed by the Lok Sabha on January 8 is still pending in the Rajya Sabha, and seeks to provide citizenship to six non-Muslim minority communities from Pakistan, Bangladesh and Afghanistan.