Recently many new and wonderful things have been happening across the world. The Arab world was struck by the Jasmine Revolution which has already uprooted 3 dictators and is threatening to bring “change” to a region spanning from the idyllic town of Marrakesh on the Moroccan coast to the by lanes of Damascus in Syria. So much was the impact that evens the Saudi’s allowed women to participate in elections. Lakhs of people have rallied and protested at the iconic Tahrir Square in Cairo and thousands died like in Sirte and Misrata in Libya not just for change in their country but revolution in the whole Arab world in general.
What caused this revolution? Who triggered it? The answer is it may come as a surprise for many but its RAP music. I googled for rap music’s definition and came across this “RAP stands for Rhythm and Poetry. A type of popular music of US origin in which words are recited rapidly and rhythmically over a pre-recorded, typically electronic instrumental backing.”
I have a Libyan friend from Misrata who is a 21 year old architecture student and also a NTC rebel fighter who saw some major action when Gadaffi’s mercenaries rolled into his town , attacking all symbols and forms of the Jasmine revolution. Sitting atop his flatbed bed manning a Kalashnikov he fought whilst reciting lines from “Reyes Le Bled” by a rapper called “El General”.
It is a song that changed the Arab world.
“El General” whose real name is Hamada Ben Amor who had no resources and hardly any recording equipment in a country that banned rap music, yes you can get imprisoned if you sing or perform rap in some countries. With some help from 2 of his friends wrote, shot, edited and released a song “Reyes Lebled” on facebook and YouTube.
The song spoke about the condition of the people and brutal ways of the police and an ignorant president. The song went viral people young and old from all across the Arab speaking world started chanting and calling on the their respective governments to change or give way.El General wrote not just about him but also for the millions of people of across the Arab world were facing the some oppression by dictatorial military juntas and strong men like Hosni Mubarak and Zine Ali.His song sparked off the revolution in Tunisia(the place where it all began) and since then there has been no turning back the social movement whose ripples are being felt even in far off North Korea.
A few weeks into the revolution one fine morning El General was whisked away from his home in Sfax and taken to a military prison but so powerful was the response of the people that President Zine Ben Ali let him go in 3 days. After two weeks from the day of his detention things had changed the revolution had succeeded and Zine Ben Ali fled the country and El General performed for a crowd of 15,000 people at the capital celebrating the nation’s freedom.
You must be thinking why the hell it is being written about in The Broken Scooter.
What strikes a chord is that El General is just like one of us, like the guys who are passionate about music in Odisha or any part of our country but sadly some members of this fraternity are ending up as slaves to drugs and losing themselves to the bottle. Its time we wrote songs which highlight the social upheavals happening India. Its time we guys came up with something that would bring about change.
You never know like El General we may end up doing something great for a country reeling under scams, corruption.
Contributed by : Aditya Kiran Nag
To read more about this revolution click Here