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Vote Songs of Dada Thakur

10 March, 2021 17:21:30
Vote Songs of Dada Thakur

He was named Bidushak by none other than author Sarat Chandra Chattopadhyay. What Sarat Pandit wrote almost a century ago in his own satirical style about the excitement of Vote Politics, still holds true today. Blowing that quintessential bhenpu with the beat of dhaak and chatpati, all rural musical instruments of Bengal, Dada Thakur as he was known as in the literary circles, single-handedly popularized the Voter Gaan. 

Take for example the following:

Aami Votero laagiya bhikari Shajuni… Phiri go dware dware…

(I have turned a beggar, begging for votes, going from door to door) or even that famous opening line: 

Aay shobe aay, Vote Diye Jaa…

(Come all of you, cast your votes) set to different kinds of tunes from Kirtan to Tarja, Dada Thakur’s Vote Songs are still a nostalgia in Bengal’s poll wars. Sarat Chandra Pandit or Dada Thakur was born in 1879 and made a name for himself as a well-known composer of humorous rhymes that primarily criticized the society. The ancestral seat of the Pandits was originally at Dharmapur, a village in Birbhum. His grandfather Ishan Chandra Pandit left his ancestral village and settled in Dafarpur following a family conflict. 

Sarat Chandra Pandit singly-handedly published the newspaper, 'Jungipore Sangbad' playing the roles of author, press-compositor, proof-reader and printer. Initially he was assisted by his wife and temporary workers in running the press, a wooden hand-press which was run in his bedroom. He also published Bidushak, a pamphlet of satire, humor and social commentary and used it as his weapon for social change and to bring public awareness against corruption.

He was known for his ability to memorize, ability to compose at will rhymes and songs full of puns and wit. His keen knowledge of both the Bengali, Hindi and English languages made him a unique composer of multilingual rhymes and witticisms. He created the Bengali Palindrome against the British rulers too. But his limericks and satire songs on Vote Politics and how different parties make promises of giving one free for another, like ghee for a fish head, or dress for a festival still is so relevant in today’s world. 

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