The Bharatiya Janata Party continues to stoke hate and divisiveness in its election campaign in Delhi. At a time when two gunmen have fired at peaceful protestors in the national capital, a new campaign song released by the party on Friday says: “It is time to evict those sitting on protest in Delhi.”
The song in Hindi, which is two minutes and eight seconds long, goes on to say: “Remember those who empower Urban Naxals” – a term that the BJP and its supporters have coined to attack social activists and civil rights defenders. The song’s video shows a grainy image of Delhi chief minister and Aam Aadmi Party leader Arvind Kejriwal at this point.
“Teach a lesson to those who fear the rise of India,” the song says. “Give an answer, Delhi, to those who love Shaheen Bagh.”
Shaheen Bagh is the locality in South Delhi where women have been staging a continuous sit-in protest since December 15. On Saturday, a gunman fired shots at the protest site. As the police took him away, a video of the incident shows him say: “In our country, only Hindus will prevail.”
This is the second instance of a gunman inspired by Hindutva firing at protestors in Delhi. On January 30, a shooter had fired his gun outside the Jamia Millia Islamia University, injuring one student. This was days after Bharatiya Janata Party leader and Union Minister Anurag Thakur had exhorted a crowd to raise the slogan: “Shoot the traitors of the country.” Thakur was barred from campaigning in Delhi for three days by the Election Commission.
The strictures of the election body have not stopped the BJP from raising its pitch against the protestors of Shaheen Bagh. Hours after the shooting outside Jamia, Home Minister Amit Shah asked voters to choose between Prime Minister Narendra Modi who conducted “surgical strikes” and those who support for Shaheen Bagh – a reference to the Aam Aadmi Party, which is ruling Delhi.
The new campaign song further builds on the same divisive campaign. The accompanying video mixes images of protestors holding up banners expressing their opposition to the Citizenship Amendment Act and the National Register of Citizens in Delhi at peaceful demonstrations with scenes of arson and stone-pelting. It is not clear whether the images are from the National Capital.
The song uses the phrase “tukde tukde gang” – a term used by the BJP government to tarnish its critics and allege they are working to balkanise India. The video shows images of former student leaders of Jawaharlal Nehru University, Kanhaiya Kumar and Umar Khalid.
The campaign song was released on Instagram on January 31. It had garnered nearly one lakh views by 9 pm on February 1.
Here are the original lyrics in Hindi with English translation.
Samay aa gaya chalo nikalein Dilli se dharne waalon ko
Yaad karo urban naxal ko empower karne waalon ko
It is time we evict those sitting on protest in Delhi
Remember those who empower Urban Naxals
Bharat ab lachar nahi to, Dilli hi lachar rahe kyun
Sabak sikhao bharat ke uthan se darne waalon ko
India is no longer helpless, why should Delhi be
Teach a lesson to those who fear the rise of India
Paanch varsha tak apne vaadon aur naaron ko bhool gaye jo
Tukde tukde gang saath lein dilli ko chaalna waalon ko
Those who forgot the promises and slogans made in five years
Taking along the tukde tukde gang, those who fooled Delhi
Do jawab unko jo Dilli love karte Shaheen Bagh se
Mile shakti iss desh ke khaatir roz roz ladhne waalon ko
Give an answer, Delhi, to those who love Shaheen Bagh
May those who fight for the country everyday gain power
Jinke mann mein sena ke prati koi bhi sammman nahi ho
Shashan ka adhikar mile kyun deshdroh karne waalon ko
Those who have no respect for the army
Why should such anti-nationals be given the power to govern
Chalo saath uske jo prerit karta rehta sakal rashtra ko
Milein samarthan sab mein sahas aur shakti bharne waalon ko
Come and support the man who inspires the country everyday
May those who infuse courage and power in everyone get support