Tamil folk singer S Sivadas, popularly known as Kovan, was arrested in the early hours of Friday on charges of sedition for two songs that attack Tamil Nadu's liquor policy – and toss a few barbs at Chief Minister Jayalalitha.
The video featured above is for the song called Moodu Tasmac Moodu, which calls for liquor shops to be shut down. Roughly translated, it says that the government uses alcohol to win over voters. While the common man loses life and limb, it says, Jayalalitha furthers the goals of her party.
The second track Oorukku oorukku sarayam, (the video below) reportedly the more controversial one, makes direct remarks about Jayalalithaa and her All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam party. It says that while she rejoices at her residence, Poes Garden, people are dying because of alcohol. The song's lyrics accuse Jayalalitha of shutting down schools but treating wine shops like temples, keeping them open day and night. It adds that she uses liquor to manipulate voters.
These two no-frills videos reportedly went viral after being put on a Tamil website, vinavu.com and on YouTube.
Kovan is associated with a movement called Makkal Kalai Ilakkiya Kazhagam or the People’s Art and Literary Association, which works to educated marginalised communities through poetry, music and art.