Using the language of music and rap, a group of activists criticised the state of democracy in Tamil Nadu. Justice Rocks, a collective of artistes who lend their voices to issues of social and environmental justice, released Jananaayagam, a rap song that calls on the state government to denounce corporate influence and stand with the people who elected them instead of suppressing dissenting voices.

“Jananaayagam (Democracy in Tamil) is a musical reminder to the State that India is a country governed by its Constitution that protects dissent and celebrates democracy,” the group said in the description of the video on YouTube.

The song was inspired by and dedicated to the struggle against the controversial Sterlite Copper Smelter plant in Thoothukudi. It was launched simultaneously in Chennai and in Thoothukudi by the Anti-Sterlite People’s Movement and comes ahead of the December 7 hearing of the National Green Tribunal (NGT) looking at the closure of the plant due to environmental concerns.

It was written by Nityanand Jayaraman and Kaber Vasuki, who also composed the song.