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HomePolitics'Bihar Mein Ee Ba' is BJP’s reply in rap to Manoj Bajpayee...

‘Bihar Mein Ee Ba’ is BJP’s reply in rap to Manoj Bajpayee song on migrant crisis

In a two-minute Bhojpuri song titled ‘Bihar Mein Ee Ba’ (this is what Bihar Has), the BJP is boasting the achievements of the Nitish Kumar-led NDA government.

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New Delhi: The Bihar unit of the BJP has released a rap song to boast the achievements of the Nitish Kumar-led NDA government, in what seems to be a counter to another rap song featuring actor Manoj Bajpayee that focused on the plight of Bhojpuri-speaking migrants.

In the two-minute Bhojpuri song titled ‘Bihar Mein Ee Ba’ (this is what Bihar Has), the party stresses the healthcare and education in the state as well as the credit facilities provided in the wake of the lockdown.

It also emphasises the development work carried out under the NDA government, ranging from establishment of IITs, IIMs and AIIMS to bridge constructions, women-centric empowerment to migrant-centric skill development.

The video released Tuesday features visuals from across the state, developmental works, Buddhist and Jain temples, apart from Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Bihar Deputy CM Sushil Kumar Modi. However, the CM, whose party JD(U) is an NDA constituent, doesn’t feature in the video.

Ahead of the state assembly polls, the song seems to be a response to the criticism put forth by the song ‘Bambai Mein Ka Ba’ (what is there in Mumbai?), which was released last month and has racked up nearly seven million views on YouTube so far.

The song produced by filmmaker Anubhav Sinha and Bihar-born actor Manoj Bajpayee was about the life of migrant workers, who are forced to leave behind their families in search of a better future. It also dug deeper into why migration occurs in the first place — lack of basic amenities and infrastructure like hospitals, schools, roads, and above all, jobs.

While the six-minute song didn’t mention Bihar, it was seen as a commentary on the development story under Nitish Kumar.

“Our song is released to counter the narrative propagated by few filmmakers and opposition parties that migration happened in Bihar due to lack of avenues, and no substantial work has been done in Bihar,” said BJP spokesperson Prem Rajan Patel.

“We have shown how in the last 15 years, Bihar progressed from ‘jungle raj’ to the fastest developing state,” he said.

Patel added that the song was planned to be released earlier but was delayed due to several factors. It will now be played in most of the party’s campaign.

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Bihar has everything

The BJP song’s lyrics seek to highlight the changes in Bihar over the last few years – “NDA ke raaj me badalal aapan ee Bihar ho, IIT-IIM ba dekha, double bani ab AIIMS ho, ee sab ba parivartan dekha, saaf kara aapan lens ko (Bihar has developed under NDA. IIT-IIMs and double AIIMS have been established here. Just change your lens to see).”

The song further says the state is pledging to “make Delhi and Mumbai” in Bihar itself.

It adds that people are now working from home, there is uninterrupted electricity and infrastructure, and better education and healthcare facilities. It’s time now to make Bihar “number one”.

Manan Krishna, the party’s IT cell chief in Bihar, said, “Since Manoj Bajpayee’s song is viral and it can be used in the election by opponents, mainly RJD, to prove their point that Bihar has not progressed in Nitish regime, it was essential to counter that song.”

He said this is why the BJP has launched the “Atmanirbhar Bihar theme song, which can be seen as a vision document of NDA government”.

“Here, we have promised that in next five years, we will make Bihar self-reliant on most parameters, but people in rural areas understand Bhojpuri better so to counter the narrative, we have answered that question through ‘Bihar Mein Ka Ba,” added Krishna.

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The Bajpayee song

The viral Bajpayee song was released after lakhs of migrant workers were forced to walk hundreds of kilometers back home after the lockdown was announced in March to curb the spread of the novel coronavirus.

The song carried images of many such migrant workers, primarily from north Indian states, who were forced to walk back. It sought to see life through the eyes of migrants.

According to Bihar government data, at least 30 lakh migrants workers reached the state after the lockdown was imposed, in the absence of employment and social security in cities in other states.

The song depicted the plight of migrants, who would prefer to live in their home states but don’t have enough avenues. It was written by lyricist Dr Sagar and composed by Anurag Saikia.

On Monday, as Mumbai faced a power outage, JD(U) minister Sanjay Jha mocked the song, saying “Mumbai mein light nahi ba but Bihar mein ba” (Mumbai doesn’t have electricity but Bihar does).

Song battles

Another Bhojpuri song that has become viral recently is by folk singer Neha Rathore, who has mocked the unemployment situation in Bihar — this is the main poll plank of Tejashwi Yadav’s RJD.

In her song ‘Bihar se berojgar bolatani’ (Unemployment calling from Bihar), Rathore highlighted the job crisis in the state. In another song, she targeted both the Nitish and the previous RJD government.

“My song is not directed towards any political party but it tells the real picture of Bihar. I usually select such topics that are important for Bihar and reflect the agony of Bihar. It is not a question of politics,” she told ThePrint.

BJP says more songs in pipeline

Krishna, who is in-charge of the party’s digital campaign, said the party is pushing more online content.

“We are pushing one infographic everyday. Our ‘Atmanirbhar Bharat’ campaign songs have become instant hits. After this song, we are in the process of making a few more songs in Bhojpuri to target opposition claims and highlight the good work of Nitish-BJP government,” he said.

BJP has launched several infographics to show development of Bihar in the ‘Ee Ba’ series. From former Union minister Radha Mohan Singh to Deputy CM Sushil Kumar Modi, several leaders have tweeted these.

“Normally, we push this content through more than 1 lakh WhatsApp groups, which is one of the main modes of campaign beside Facebook and Twitter. Every party worker has three-four WhatsApp groups… it means at any point of time we are pushing content to more than 5-6 lakh people,” he added.

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