“You want the land but not the people, oppression has been your culture,” goes a line in Imphal Talkies and The Howlers’ latest song, Stand United Against CAB.
The Manipur-based folk rock band has never hesitated to use its music to speak about politics and injustice in its state. So when protests erupted over the Citizenship Amendment Bill and a 24-hour shutdown brought life to a standstill, the band came up with a song to speak out against the bill and “Hindutva” politics.
The legislation seeks to grant citizenship to persecuted Hindus, Sikhs, Jains, Parsis and Christians from the Muslim-majority countries of Bangladesh, Afghanistan and Pakistan if they have lived in India for six years. It is currently pending in the Rajya Sabha even as protests continue across the North-East, calling for its withdrawal.
The band has also been a vocal critic of AFSPA in Manipur and extra judicial killings through its music.