Uncertainty looms large over scheduled polls in Bengal civic bodies as Covid cases rise

By PTI

LUCKNOW: In the battle for the Uttar Pradesh assembly elections, a musical war has broken out between political parties which are resorting to catchy campaign songs to promote their policies and ideologies.

The Election Commission has imposed restrictions on poll rallies till January 22 in the wake of rising COVID-19 cases in the five poll-going states.

After the BJP, Congress and Samajwadi Party, the Aam Aadmi Party too has released its theme song for the elections.

Although, the custom of resorting to songs during elections is old, with the campaign going virtual due to the Covid pandemic, the competition among parties to grab the attention of voters has only intensified.

While the ruling BJP refers to the party’s “Hindutva pride” and the “development” done under the Yogi Adityanath government, the opposition Samajwadi Party echoes the socialist sentiments and the achievements of the previous government led by Akhilesh Yadav.

BJP MPs and Bhojpuri actors Ravi Kishan and Manoj Tiwari have come out with various songs and some more are in the pipeline.

Among these, ‘damru jab bajega to dekhna nazara kya hoga’ — apparently referring to the damru of lord Shiva, is quite popular while similar songs like ‘jo Ram ko laye haye, hum unko layenge’ (those who have brought lord Ram, we will bring them to power) and ‘mandir banne laga hai, bhagwa rang chadhne laga hai’ (construction of temple has begun, saffron colour is on the rise) are testament to BJP leveraging on the upcoming Ram temple in Ayodhya.

“The Election Commission has banned election rallies and meetings till January 22. In such a situation, BJP wants to make a place in the hearts and minds of voters through songs. The party will take these songs to every voter through its social media team,” BJP’s state media in-charge Manish Dixit told PTI.

Meanwhile, the SP’s songs promise to end all “woes” of the people if it is voted to power while emphasising on how the socialist ideology ensures welfare of all sections of the society.

Some of the songs like ‘hunkara’, ‘janata pukarti hai’ (people are calling) and ‘jai-jai samajwadi’ (hail samajwadi) are all about the work done by the previous SP government and giving hope to the people to solve their problems if it comes to power again.

SP national spokesperson Ashutosh Verma said the songs strike a chord with the unemployed youth, farmers, labourers, women, exploited and downtrodden sections and the party intends to “heal their wounds”.

These songs will resonate in every village and town of the state and will remind the people of how important the SP government is for the development of all, he said.

The theme song of Congress, which claims it is fighting the elections to bring women into mainstream politics, also revolves around them.

Congress’s media convener Lalan Kumar said the party’s election campaign is being overseen by general secretary Priyanka Gandhi Vadra and her thoughts are clearly reflected in the songs.

The AAP, which is contesting on all 403 seats in Uttar Pradesh has released its song ‘rajniti ko badalne AAP ayaa hai, pehli baar jhadu chaap aaya hai’ (we have come to change politics) written by the party’s Bihar cultural cell president Lokesh.

AAP MP and UP in-charge Sanjay Singh said the song is about the party’s promise of free electricity, education, unemployment allowance and Rs 1,000 per month.

He said that the party will soon come up with another song — ‘subah subah ghar se nikal ke line lag jayega, jhanse mein nahi aayega’ (we will join the queue for voting, will not be swayed by anyone) A song for the people of Purvanchal is also coming soon, he added.

Singh said, the AAP has formed a minimum of 20 teams in each assembly constituency and party functionaries and workers will use social media platforms, including WhatsApp, Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, to convey the party’s message through these songs.

According to political analyst Parvez Ahmed, whether it was the freedom movement or any fight fought for change, songs play a very important role in uniting people.

“In the movements held from time to time, songs have been considered as a very effective medium of conveying the point of view of the people participating in them,” he said.

Whether it was the Lok Nayak Jayaprakash Narayan movement or any other campaign, songs were used effectively and aggressively on all occasions.

It is human nature to get attracted towards songs and music and this is why songs are crucial even during elections.

More often than not, they do the job of getting into the hearts and minds of the voters, he said.