Bolo Azadi! India Elections Insight Political Rap Battle: BJP vs Congress


Hip Hop in India has taken a political twist. With 2019 Elections around the corner, political parties are gravitating towards the genre to reach their core youth audience. Hip Hop’s anti-establishment roots are being threatened as the art form was born to spread a “higher message”. The genre consists mostly of the younger generation as creators plus consumers, so it’s a very obvious move from the political parties to use this as a channel – but should we stand for it?

If you’re not aware of the whole scenario that has been going on for past few days, let’s get you updated on that.

GullyBoy‘s Music Album dropped on 24th January and a song that really stood out and stuck with a lot of people was “Azadi” (written by DIVINE, Dub Sharma & produced by Dub Sharma). Azadi which describes India’s messed up political scenario quite perfectly, is no doubt a standout track from the album because the listeners relate a lot with it’s lyrics. It displays DIVINE’s extraordinary pen-game at it’s finest, as he writes and describes the true ground realities in his own lingo.

Read all the lyrics to “Azadi” here :

So, as this track’s popularity started increasing among the people, it started to get shared and spread widely from not just Hip-Hop listeners but from common listeners too, on Twitter, YouTube and other social media platforms. It also made a lot of people actually have conversations about the political scenarios and related events happening in the country.

With it’s increasing popularity, political parties have also started to gravitate towards that specific track too, in order to use it as a new way to throw shade at the opposition parties because of it’s eye opening lyrics. BJP (Bhartiya Janta Party) jumped into the puddle first by releasing a lyric and visual video accompanying the audio of “Azadi”, which was directly aimed at Rahul Gandhi and Congress, amidst of the upcoming general elections.

Check the full video here :

To this, Congress retaliated, pretty quickly. Their reply was also another lyric and visual video accompanying the audio of “Azadi”, which threw shade at all the scams and failures happened during BJP’s tenure.

Check the full video here :

The twitter back and forth between the two of the biggest political parties in India, was covered highly (ofcourse, as always) but the fact that it involved Hip Hop as the medium, brought a lot of opinions among the core Hip Hop audience and most of them were pretty unhappy with the usage of it. Although Vivian Divine explicitly stated in his interview with Ebro on Beats1 that he did not authorize the use of this songs in any political messages, the misuse of a musical genre for propaganda left a lot of people disappointed.

Music has been used in political propaganda in past too like Vishal Dadlani working with AAP (Aam Admi Party) few years back. But from an art form perspective, is this good or bad?