Patna: Amid the hustle and bustle of the Bihar assembly elections, the BJP on Wednesday got its Delhi MP and Bhojpuri singer Manoj Tiwari to reprise one of his chartbusters, appealing to voters to retain their trust in the states ruling dispensation. Suna ho Bihar ke bhaiya, launched by the party as its new election song, is a straight lift off jiya ho Bihar ke lala the foot-tapping number from Manoj Bajpayee-starrer Gangs of Wasseypur, which had acquired a cult status upon its release a decade ago.
आवा हो बिहार के भैया,दीदी-चाची, बाबू-मैया,एक बेर फेर जोर लगा के,अटल-मोदी के नाम गुंजा के,NDA के राज बना के,गौरवशाली आपन बिहार के,'आत्मनिर्भर' बनाई जां,प्रगति के पथ पर बढ़ी जां,विकसित राज्य बनाई जां! @ManojTiwariMP pic.twitter.com/kmB57GxHBk— Office Of Manoj Tiwari (@ManojTiwariOffc) October 21, 2020
Incidentally, the composer of the original song, Sneha Khanwalkar, had been roped in by the campaign team of Chief Minister Nitish Kumar in the 2015 assembly polls when she came out with the catchy phir se Nitish Kumar ho. The JD(U) chief had then comfortably returned to power belying naysayers who were skeptical about his coalition with arch rival Lalu Prasads RJD finding resonance with the voters.
Back in the NDA, Kumar is now the coalitions chief ministerial candidate, and in the new song Tiwari, who has retained the tune as well as the background score of the original number, reminds the voters that he wants them to support the JD(U) chief even as the larger than life persona of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his benevolence towards Bihar seems to be the central theme of the parody. In the song that lasts nearly eight minutes, Tiwari dwells at length on the progress made by the state under the NDA rule badi mushkil se (against various odds).
He goes on to add that if someone says in spite of so many accomplishments Bihar mein ka ba (what does Bihar have to offer) then the person needs to get eyeglasses checked. For the politically aware people of Bihar the insinuation is hard to miss.
Neha Singh Rathore, a bespectacled 20 something from Kaimur district, to which Tiwari also belongs, has become an internet sensation with her rap song Bihar mein kaa ba where she takes a grim, sardonic view of her home state. She says a lot remains to be done despite a decade-and-a-half of sushasan (good governance). Manoj Bajpayees rap number Mumbai mein kaa baa, released recently to much acclaim, had inspired Rathore, who keeps a low profile and reaches out to viewers and listeners through songs which she self-records on her smart phone and uploads on social media.
A self-styled cultural activist who wants to pull Bhojpuri music out of the slush of sleaze, Rathore likes to make a political point without caring much for party affiliations. She also likes giving it back when her refusal to abide by political correctness gets the goat of the powers that be.
After Bihar mein ka ba became a hit on social media platforms earlier this month, the RJD-led opposition, eager to fish in the NDAs troubled waters following the rebellion by LJP leader Chirag Paswan, lapped up the song to score brownie points against the ruling coalition. Chirag Paswan has been bitterly criticising Nitish Kumar over a host of issues including alleged corruption and lack of development.
The BJPs famed election machinery hit back with a vengeance, coming out with a series of video packages showcasing the NDA governments achievements in the state with the tagline Bihar mein ee ba (this is what Bihar has to offer). Recently, another upcoming folk singer from Bihar Maithili Thakur, who croons in her eponymous native language, sought to lampoon the kaa ba refrain of Rathore, whom she did not mention by name, and sung paeans to the states rich cultural heritage.
It is being speculated that Thakur, with no apparent political inclinations, had been approached by the saffron party. Rathore seems to be taking it all on the chin, though.
Unfazed by the attacks, she has come out with yet another song that gets close to the bone of NDA backers. Rozgar deba ki karba drama, kursi tohar baap ken na ha (will you do something for job creation or simply indulge in antics. Remember, your seat of power is not dynastic), says Rathore in the song which reflects the mood of the states youth, though it remains to be seen how it impacts the electoral outcome.