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Poll Vault On The Right Note

Poll Vault On The Right Note

The Indian Express July 27, 2011 It’s time for student elections on the campus — and budding politicos are using music to get their point across

Panjab University is humming some new songs these days,and the volume is increasing as the crucial Punjab University Students Council Union (PUSCU) elections draw near. For, budding politicos have realised that there’s no better way to a voter’s heart than through music, especially rap.

Panjab University Students Union (PUSU)’s song,PUSU waley aaye,for instance,is a Punjabi rap number written by Zoology student Manjeet Virk. The song is a ready reckoner of the party’s achievements over the last few years and its zeal to help the students. The uplifting gospel-esque chorus not only promises change,but also inspires party members. The clincher,however,isn’t the chorus and title of the song at all. It’s the final verse that speaks for the students. “The idea is to create instant recall with music,” says Simranjeet Dhillon of PUSU,adding that he will soon record the song and distribute it among students.

Not only PUSU, even SOPU, APVP and other student parties are making a loud noise tempered with some “sound sense”. Instead of shouting slogans and shrieking speeches on the election-gripped campus,student political parties are taking a new route — canvassing on a musical note. So,on the advice of the image consultants and advisers,“party anthems” come complete with catchlines and hook lines for that Pied Piper effect. The songs are rich in text,well-researched and written in the vernacular,but delivered in chaste rap.

Walk across the Students’ Center or through the hostels,and you’d hear Students’ Organisation of Punjab University’s (SOPU) song Pardhanji floating in the air . A duet that reels the scene of the campus elections,this one has been penned by Gaurav Sharma Gabbar,a student of the Urdu Department. Layered with wit,it also brings out the nuances of rallies and speeches that dot the elections. The song is a product of a year’s research and has been sung by a rock band of the Law department.

“The right music has become a crucial part of the message of an election campaign,and we take pains to ensure that it is carefully composed,” says Robin Brar of SOPU, who feels that besides the world of professional wrestling,nowhere does an anthem serve a greater purpose than in the political arena. The newbie politician says that an anthem tells a potential voter everything he or she needs to know about the political party without having to read a single pamphlet or policy statement or watching a single debate.

The songs have,for the time being,taken focus away from penning poems and making elaborate posters for elections. While,National Student’s Union Of India (NSUI) is yet to release their election special number, Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP) is trying to catch the attention of voters with song Kadam nirantar chaltey jinkey.

“The connection between music and politics continues to grow. At rallies,party conferences and events,music is used to lighten up the mood. Music has the power to pull together masses for a common purpose,” says Dinesh Chauhan as the anthem plays around him.

Posted on July 27, 2011 in News

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