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Love Jihad Rap Report - Are Inter-Religious Marriages really a Problem? (Review)

Updated: Nov 22, 2019

We live in a society full of stereotypes backed by a nation full of dirty politics. We live in a country where on one hand minority rights are exploited by politicians while on the other hand, there are social stereotypes for them by the majority, which often leave a bad impression of them in front of the masses, where politics 'divides and rules' on the basis of religion in an independent republic, where parties are voted for as per the religion they support. Imagine the condition of a minority citizen, family or community, who is discriminated all their lives due to such hate-politics and social stereotypes. Imagine how they are denied of their fundamental right to freedom of speech and expression (Article 19, Constitution of India) .

However, the agitation and pursuit of rights does not end, and one of Mumbai's rap-pioneers MC Shaikhspeare from Bombay Lokal delivers a rap song on one such issue, which is 'Love Jihad', entitled 'Love Jihad Rap Report'. What is 'love' ? Love is a strong and intense feeling of deep affection for someone or something, irrespective of their physique, cast, class, gender, religion, race, nationality and all other worldly parameters. What is 'Jihad' ? 'Jihad' refers to the 'Holy War' or 'The struggle or strive within oneself against sin'. However, 'Jihad' is misinterpreted to promote violence or forceful conversion to Islam which it doesn't. The term 'Love Jihad' is thus, itself hypocritical as it pertains to Muslim men having inter-religious marriages to convert more women into Islam. The rap song portrays the views of an Indian Muslim man, addressing an issue which defames people of his community and himself. The theme is, thus, intriguing, appealing and awakening.

Known for his Conscious rap songs like 'Age of Conflict', 'Inquilab Zindabad', 'Justice for Asifa' and 'All Men Must Die' (Remix) , Shaikhspeare has done an amazing job as an MC, where he directly expresses his dissent towards bad politics and religious discrimination by politicians as well as the society. His bars such as 'Nafrat ke Keechad mein Kamal ko khilaana hai./' (They want to blossom the Lotus in the Sludge of hatred./) in the hook explains his demur against the current ruling party, the BJP, while 'Jhoothe vaade, yeh kiska Saath, aisa Vikaas hai?/' (Unfulfilled promises, whose Togetherness and whose Development is this?/) in the first verse objects the slogans of the Congress, the former long-time ruling party of India. As a Conscious EmCee, Shaikhspeare gives a clear message to his listeners that 'Love Jihad' is nothing but a gimmick by politicians to promote their 'Agenda' of 'Hindutva' (to make India a complete Hindu, rather than a secular or pluralist nation, making the literal meaning of the word 'Hindustan' - The Land of the Hindus). Shaikhspeare's bars 'Hindu Dharma aur Hindutva mein yeh farq naa kar paate hain./' (They are not able to differentiate between the Hindu way of life and Hindutva./) clarify this. He starts with a very strong message, with the very first bar reminding Hindus of their malpractices of 'Dahej' (Dowry) which is against basic human dignity as it assigns a monetary value or a price to an individual, thus considering individuals as commodities, and has led to a lot of suicides and divorces by women due to its prevalence. As it progresses, the bars 'Hate-Politics sach, jhootha Love-Jihad hai./' (Hate-Politics are true, Love-Jihad is false./) explain the ultimate truth of the society that we live in. Moreover, Shaikhspeare takes a direct aim at the RSS, PM Narendra Modi, UP CM Adityanath Yogi and a lot of cases of Minority Rights' violation and dirty politics in India. He ends his second verse with an eye-opening bar 'Aaj yeh hamaare, kal tumhaare peechhe aayenge./' (Today they are after us, tomorrow they will be after you./) where he warns his fellow majority-Hindu citizens against the corrupt politicians who are after the Muslims now but can be after Hindus later too.

Shaikhspeare's cadences and delivery are also both worth-appreciating, as he manages to engross his listeners with his cadences and also to create an addictive hook. The sudden change in the cadence in the third bar of the hook is interesting and makes the listeners memorize it in the very first listening. Overall, an interesting flow is created merging all the cadences together.

Known for his conscious rap songs and awesome music, one of Kashmir's pioneer MCs and music producers Haze Kay has done a worth-admiring job as a music producer for this record, with various instrumental sounds blended perfectly to create a beguiling record. This article appreciates the new instrumental sounds added in the hook between the first and second verse as well as after the first verse, which was intentionally not there when the hook is first played. A basic track of this record contains a partial clock-like sound, which metonymizes time, probably displaying that there is less time left with us and that we, as citizens, that, we the people, have to do something about this issue. There is also a clarionlike sound honking in almost every line - all these small aspects help in contributing to create an addictive instrumental.

The mixing and mastering by Dorbian X is also great, as he mixes a lot of tracks together to create a suitable and perfect record. There are a lot of ad-libs as well which are very well placed throughout the record. He manages to make the final audio riveting.

The video is created by Visualskid, Romi Kahlon, doing a remarkable performance in the piece. The video starts shows various news reports in the background of lyrics displayed on the screen, creating a perfect Conscious-Rap atmosphere for the viewers. The name of Shaikhspeare written in a T.V. news style in the beginning is noticeable. The music video features real news reports on Hadiya's Love-Jihad Case, rallies and awareness-videos, Lok Sabha discussions, 'Love-Jihad Murder case' of Rajasthan, interviews of politicians as well as citizens, and many such cases. Another interesting aspect of the video is the comic video of people wearing masks of politicians, revealing their true agendas and political positions in the nation.

A still from the official music video on YouTube, displaying Shaikhspeare's name in a news-style

Overall, 'Love Jihad Rap Report' is a thought-provoking, entrancing and spellbinding rap song, a beautiful concoction of different kind of art-forms put together to spread a meaningful message as well as to captivate the audience's minds and hearts.

(Written by MC $anskriti)

RAP SONG CREDITS:-

Record Title - Love Jihad Rap Report

Written and Performed by - MC Shaikhspeare Music Producer - Haze Kay

Mixing and Mastering Engineer - Dorian X

Video by - Visualskid (Romi Kahlon)

SOURCES:

Original YouTube video of Love Jihad Rap Report:

https://youtu.be/wksYC8KFaXo

Meanings of Jihad:

(1) https://www.britannica.com/topic/jihad

(2) Oxford dictionary by default on Google

Misconceptions regarding Jihad:

https://islamicsupremecouncil.org/understanding-islam/legal-rulings/5-jihad-a-misunderstood-concept-from-islam.html?start=9

NOTE: This is an opinion-piece created to appreciate the work of the artists, made completely on a non-profit basis. All the rights of the piece lie with the artists, who are already credited above; along with a link to the original music video on YouTube.

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