Thursday, February 24, 2011

Telling stories that matter: Word Sound Power and The Bant Singh Project

I'm a big fan of Taru Dalmia, AKA Delhi Sultanate.  Dalmia has been bringing music, poetry and politics together in interesting ways for several years now. Here's his "Politrix":

Last year, Dalmia and some of his friends formed The Bant Singh Project, an "attempt to showcase the story and the legend of dalit singer, Bant Singh." Singh lost both arms and a leg when he was attacked in retaliation for seeking justice for his daughter who had been raped by upper-caste men. (Here's Frontline's story on the incident.

I like The Bant Singh Project for a lot of reasons. It's great to see artists who have politics. And it's better still to see them using the platform they have to help people with less power tell their own stories to a wider audience. This matters, because I for one don't believe the world is going to change the way it uses or distributes resources and power simply because people with computers and and microphones write or sing about it. Real change is going to require the ideas, voices and commitment of a much wider group of people than those found reading blogs or dancing away the night at Delhi nightclubs. And though I love to read and dance, it's good to see Mr. Delhi Sultanate and his friends taking their music out of the dance halls and into the fields. Whether or not it fundamentally changes the world anytime soon, it has has already resulted in an extraordinary--dare I say, revolutionary?-- new sound.

Working in collaboration with Bant Singh, the Bant Singh Project, has produced a 12 minute documentary and some excellent music. Here's the documentary:

And here's one of their songs: "Word Sound Power":
You can find more songs at the Word Sound Power website. If you like what you hear, you can buy the album to download, which is a pretty green way to go, all things considered.


  1. This 2006 tehelka story also links up to a photo essay by raghu rai filename=Cr061006MY_TONGUE.asp

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