A musical lesson

Updated: 26 October, 2020 11:08 IST | Shunashir Sen | Mumbai

A new, sardonic Hindi indie song reminds the listener that music is not just for entertainment, but can be a tool for revolution too

Cha'bi live in concert
Cha'bi live in concert

We have come a long way from December 14, 2019. That's when the Shaheen Bagh movement started. But then the peaceful protest led by women folded up in the wake of the pandemic, on March 24 this year. Since then, there's been too much on our plate. The world has been turned topsy-turvy, and the protest in Shaheen Bagh has largely been relegated to the shadows. But a song like Phir hum dekhenge by Hindi indie band Cha'bi seems like a reminder of days gone by.

The track channels the Faiz Ahmed Faiz poem Hum Dekhenge, which became an anthem of sorts for the anti-CAA protests that sent ripples across the country. Akshay Kapoor, the band's frontman, tells us that he wrote the lyrics around that time, though the single was launched this month. He says, "One night, I sat and listened to Iqbal Bano and Faiaz Ahmed Faiz's Hum Dekhenge, and it inspired me to write. I genuinely believe that this country deserves more, its people deserve more. The spirit of this country is yet to be broken and till then, we will fight."

It's a noble thought. The track has lyrics like, "Tum maaro ge patthar/Hum un pattharo se ghar banayenge." But how far can a work of art travel as if it is an olive branch in a dove's mouth? Is the pen really mightier than the sword? Yes, though it can't be a short story if the battle is to be won. The arts have to chip away bit by bit, till the whole novel is written. What we mean is that there is only so much that one song like Phir hum dekhenge can do when it comes to cleansing the entire system that threatens to bog us down.

It's a timely reminder of one of the world's longest women-led peaceful protests. But still, fighting the good fight takes patience. The arts need to step up as a collective weapon of change. One song can only go so far. Nonetheless, Cha'bi have done their bit. Kudos to them for that.

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First Published: 26 October, 2020 09:31 IST

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