Breaking The Harmony: The Threat Of Anti-Muslim Pop Music In India – OpEd
Since the Bhartiya Janata Party (BJP) came to power, every policy and encouragement has been directed against the sentiments of Indian Muslims. The film industry acts to serve the nation’s interests through narrative, propaganda, and a variety of other means of influencing the country’s long-term political objectives. But hurting Muslims’ feelings has nothing to do with serving the nation’s interests.
Perhaps it could be fascist and nationalist goals, and the same is happening in India, where anti-Muslim pop singers are promoted by the ruling party. Hence, it would not be inappropriate to say that the BJP is following the deeper objectives of Hindutva and serving the nationalist goals of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS).
Hindutva Pop Music And Its Impact
In recent years, pop singers like Krishnavanshi, Laxmi Dubey, Upendra Rana, and Sandeep Acharya have been prominent figures in promoting this kind of agenda against Muslims.
“Insaan nahi ho saalo, ho tum kasaayi.” “Bahut ho chuka Hindu-Muslim brotherhood,” he declared, “you are not human, you are butchers; enough of the Hindu-Muslim brotherhood.”
These lines belong to artist Prem Krishnavanshi, who uploaded a “bhajan” (devotional song) on YouTube three years ago and has since received thousands of views. Krishnavanshi portrays Muslims as “anti-nationals who should move to Pakistan” in several of his songs. If Hindus don’t wake up soon, he predicts in one of his songs, “Muslims would finally compel them to pray Namaz.”
Laxmi Dubey is a Hindu nationalist pop singer from the Indian state of Madhya Pradesh. Since 2014, she has sung anti-Muslim songs. One of her songs is “Agar Hindustan mein rehna hoga, To vande mataram kehna hoga“ (If you want to stay in India, then praise the motherland).
Another Hindutva pop artist is Upendra Rana from Uttar Pradesh. His path into Hindutva pop began in 2017. He has 370K YouTube followers. One of his popular song is “Dharm ke naam zameen gayi, Islami mulk banaye” (“In the name of their religion, we lost our land; they made it an Islamic nation”).
These Hindutva pop songs and the support they get from the ruling party BJP and its Hindutva followers are worrying because they contribute to the growth of intolerant and discriminatory attitudes against Muslims in India. Furthermore, in addition to stigmatizing and isolating the Muslim community, the lyrics of these songs include degrading language and promote harmful stereotypes.
Concerning as well is the fact that these singers are supported and paid for by the state government, which legitimizes individuals who have such discriminatory attitudes. This could lead to more hate crimes and acts of bias against Muslims in India.
Moreover, the propagation of such hateful and divisive beliefs contradicts the democratic norms of inclusivity and equality, which are fundamental for a healthy and functional community. Hindu-Muslim brotherhood is one of the foundations of Indian democracy, and it is very important to promote and celebrate it instead of destroying it with ugly songs.
It is imperative that those in positions of authority, such as politicians and members of the media, take a stance against the promotion of hatred and prejudice in all its manifestations, including through music. This could help build a more inclusive and fair society where everyone, no matter their religion or race, is treated with dignity and respect.
Core Objective Of Encouraging Anti-Muslim Pop Music
The primary reasons why the Indian government supports such artists are to deliver the message of Akhand Bharat (unified Hindustan) and to legitimize violent actions against Muslims. This will shape people’s perceptions of Muslims, who have left scars on the Hindu identity in South Asia. The Modi family has long carried the inspiration of the RSS agenda that India is the place only for Hindus and Muslims have got their country in the shape of Pakistan, therefore Muslims have no right anymore to live in India.
“Hinduo kaa hae Hindustan, Mullo jaao Pakistan“ (India is a nation of Hindus, Muslims should go to Pakistan) is a lyric from one of Krishnavanshi’s songs, but this argument cannot legitimize their actions against Muslims because every citizen has the right to perform their religious duties irrespective of caste, colour, creed, and religion in the democratic republic. Democracy has no meaning if it is not functional on a societal level because practices on a societal level could lead a country to a truly democratic republic, but there is no hope for India if it is under fascist Modi’s rule.
This has also resulted in normalizing Islamophobia, which is a serious threat to society’s survival. It’s disappointing to see Islamophobic and other hateful messages spread through music in India, and it’s fair to compare this to how music prompted hatred and violence in Nazi Germany and the Rwanda massacre. The use of music to promote hatred and create a feeling of community with a common goal of violence is a dangerous trend, and people must be aware of it and speak out against it. In addition, it is essential to address the core causes of hatred and prejudice and foster a culture of tolerance and respect for variety. Education and awareness efforts may help combat the growth of hatred and stop it from developing into violence.
Furthermore, politicians, the media, and other powerful individuals must openly oppose hate speech and propaganda while promoting themes of unity and peace. The government’s involvement in preventing and combating hate speech and encouraging religious peace is equally vital.
In short, it would be inappropriate to assume that if the government does not stop the encouragement and promotion of such movies and songs, they will become the cause of hurting the sentiments of Muslims. As a result, there will be a massive societal breakdown in India, potentially complicating the issue of peace and the country’s secular status. India’s growing Hindutva pop scene includes songs with openly Islamophobic lyrics.
Singers like Krishnavanshi, Laxmi Dubey, and Upendra Rana have been criticized for releasing songs that offend religious sensibilities and spread hatred against Muslims. These songs have become more popular in India, normalizing Islamophobic sentiments as they are played at Hindutva events and political rallies. Experts fear a future genocide in India because of the lyrics of these songs, which they say promote violence against Muslims. The author draws parallels between Hindutva pop and the music of Nazi Germany and Rwanda, both of which aimed to inspire national solidarity and deadly conflict.
Abdul Mussawer Safi is an undergraduate student of international relations at the National Defense University Islamabad. He has a profound interest in World politics especially,in the regional dynamics of South Asia. His academic strength is critical and SWOT Analysis. He tweets at @MussawerSafi and can be reached at [email protected]