Aditya Narayan, Nayantara Bhatkal lend their voices to dignity march

Updated: Feb 06, 2019, 09:26 IST | Karishma Kuenzang

Vocalists of the anthem for dignity march, which started in Mumbai and concludes in Delhi this month, talk about the song

Aditya Narayan, Nayantara Bhatkal lend their voices to dignity march
Aditya Narayan and Nayantara Bhatkal

Vocalist Nayantara Bhatkal is a known name in the music industry when it comes to ad jingles, and for Behooda from Raman Raghav 2.0. And Aditya Narayan has etched his way into playback singing after participating in The Stage, in the six years he's been in Mumbai. The two have now lent their voices to Kehna Hai, the anthem for the ongoing dignity march - comprising survivors of rape and sexual violence in a bid to end stigmatisation of survivors - which started in Mumbai and will culminate in Delhi on February 22.

The duo first jammed together five years ago after they met at a studio, but reconnected only recently for their first project - a film score. It was Bhatkal's mother, Svati Chakravarty Bhatkal, who was well-versed with the stories of survivors of sexual violence as she was heading the research of a show that focused on it, who suggested their names to Asif Sheikh, the organiser of the march.

With Bhatkal's mother aiding them with the lyrics, borrowing from her interactions with women who had suffered, the two sat down to compose the song, whose first line translates to 'say goodbye to being quiet as now is the time to speak up'. "We realised the song shouldn't be sad or about how these women had been wronged.

These people have dealt with whatever life has thrown their way and come out stronger. We don't have a right to create something that makes them look weak. It's not a song for the oppressed or weak. It's about how it's time to speak up," explains Narayan. In the process, they also met a survivor who comes from a village where she tried to stop a child marriage, and got gangraped for it.

But you wouldn't expect a song like this to have a rock vibe with electric guitars, which is why the two thought, 'why not?' "We felt the power within these survivors needs to reflect in the song. We felt we owe it to every woman in the country to be able to give something that they can see as their own and not just a song. A true anthem," Narayan adds. The song is releasing across all streaming platforms on February 15.

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