A JNU ex-student’s powerful rap about the Citizenship Amendment Bill has gone viral. The bill led to a chain protests in the northeast. In his rap, singer/songwriter Rahul Rajkhowa talks about indifference towards the region, mentioning the 15 Meghalaya miners who got trapped. Uploaded on Youtube on January 30, Rajkhowa wrote the lyrics to “Rap against Citizenship Amendment Bill” earlier that same afternoon. He told The Indian Express,
“The current situation was getting to me. I couldn’t sit in peace. I probably could have spent more money by making a proper video. But that’s not the point — I wanted to tell others out there that anyone can do this, if they wanted to be heard, if they wanted to make a difference.”
The Citizenship Amendment Bill, passed by the Lok Sabha on January 9, seeks to provide citizenship to six religious minority communities (excluding Muslims) from three countries: Pakistan, Bangladesh and Afghanistan. While the Bill is pending in the Rajya Sabha, there have been widespread protests throughout Northeast — a region that has been dealing with the influx of migrants at the risk of decimating their own indigenous population — against it.
The 24-year-old rapper from Dispur, Assam has consistently protested against injustice through music. He wrote a rap about mob-lynching in India after he was attacked by a mob in 2012. His song against JNU Vice-Chancellor went viral when PhD, MPhil seats were reduced by over 80%, and was also prompted by Najeeb Ahmed’s disappearance. Rahul says his inspiration comes from the 70s music which saw the emergence of hip-hop that reflected the socio-economic realities of the West. He has also sung about rape jokes, environmental degradation, and racial bias against students from the northeast.