The Bant Singh Project Music

Comrades





This song is a tribute to all the grass roots organizers. Comrade Bant Singh names several people from his area who work tirelessly to mobilize people. People who hustle at work by day and organize and unify people by night. All big movements consist of and are started by individual people who work on the ground level, often against all odds and with no immediate reward in sight. In the words of Dead Prez “together the ants will conquer the elephant.” Each one –teach one Delhi Sultanate’s lyrics on this track are more cynical, he sings of the irony and frustration of singing about revolution while being trapped in the money economy and being a slave to its benefits. How far are we really willing to go? It is not just a question of changing the material reality but also of decolonizing minds. “how many countries dem done invade – how many souls dem done enslave” …. the tower of babel collapsed under its own weight.


Intifada Shahidawali Mansil





The Indian state has many faces. The well fed and privileged few in urban centers experience its benevolent side and feel implicated in its economic success story. Their faces are featured in it; it speaks in their voices and reflects their ambitions and vision of life. Who is it that really benefits in this self-proclaimed world's largest democracy? For many, from the North east and Kashmir to the jungles of Chattisgarh the state symbolizes not opportunity but brutal repression. Draconian laws reminiscent of colonial times give security forces the right to victimize the local population at will. Hence the opening line of Delhi Sultanate's lyrics 'CRPF could rape your daughter.' Who polices the police and where can people turn for redress when the state itself is an agent of injustice and freely operates outside of the law? If the people are denied peaceful means of redress, those who are sufficiently desperate and disillusioned will resort to violence. As Comrade Bant Singh sings repeatedly -- "We have seen your misdeeds everywhere / Our destination is the street where martyrs dwell."


Modern Days





Everyday, we read new reports of scams operating at the highest levels of government that run into thousands of crores while multitudes are left to hustle for the very basics of life -- food, clothes and shelter. While Delhi Sultanate verse speaks of the sorrow of a state waging war against its own people and names some of the many politicians with 'Swiss bank' accounts, Comrade Bant warns of a time when injustice has crossed the critical threshold and the people have united and risen up in anger -- "Those who (Government) made false promises are now trembling / The will to tell the truth has awakened across the nation." As we speak, in many parts of the country people have risen up in arms and in most cases the state has responded with yet more violence while root causes remain unaddressed. Time and time again, peaceful protests such as Irom Sharmila's ten year hunger fast, fall on deaf ears and receive little media attention, while violent uprisings grab the headlines.


Into The Fire





Fire' is a traditional motif in Dancehall music. It can stand for many things: rastas speak of the fire of purification but also of the fire of condemnation and righteous anger. 'Fire' recurs in both Comrade Bant Singh and Delhi Sultanate's lyrics. Bant speaks of the revolutionary fire that makes people put their lives on the line for the cause. Delhi Sultanate's lyrics lay out how government and big business collude in colonial style exploitation that places commercial interests above the lives of the people and threatens the foundations of life itself.