Sometimes a song that was written and sung over 70 years ago ago, with reference to the life of the times gone by, can seamlessly seem befitting for a present situation and accurately define it. And when it comes to music and politics, there is ever-lasting love between them.
So when a digital creator wanted to describe the latest turn of events in Bihar, where after fighting a fiery political war, Nitish Kumar and Lalu Prasad Yadav have decided to align again, he chose the popular O betaji, are o babuji, qismat ki hawa kabhi naram, kabhi garam… a song from Bhagwan Dada and Geeta Bali starrer musical Albela (1991), and transposed it on the two leaders in a meme where they seem to be lip-syncing it. Created by the handle @gayameme, who has created a number of other memes on Bihar politics in the past, the piece went viral on social media. It hinted at Kumar’s politics of opportunity which saw him take the CM oath for the eighth time.
Nitish Kumar dumped BJP earlier this week, alleging that the BJP was trying to break up the party and hence he would now go back to Yadav. He took the oath as Bihar CM on Tuesday. Back in 2013, he allied with RJD and Congress in a mahagathbandhan after BJP announced Narendra Modi as the Prime Ministerial candidate. Two years later, Kumar cited corruption charges against Tejasvi Surya, his deputy in the Cabinet and joined the BJP. Surya has become the Deputy CM yet again.
As for the song used in the meme, which suggests the philosophy and comedy in the situation, it was originally released right after the turmoil of the Partition, when a fledgling nation was figuring how to survive. The lyrics, penned by noted poet Rajendra Krishan, were simple yet inventive, where the power was speaking of struggles and happiness that life offers. Composed and sung by C Ramachandra, the song was an instant hit alongside other songs from the film, such as Dheere se aaja ri akhiyan mein, Shola jo bhadke, Shaam dhale khidki tale and Bholi soorat dil ke khote, among others.
A lot of times, music tends to reveal social and political processes in an interesting light, the way words perhaps can’t. And the meme, which has been trending on social media, along with a song that’s almost as old as our independence, is exemplary of the song’s pulchritude. The fact that it comments on destiny while referring to politicians playing opportunists, has the comicality increase manyfold given the current political situation in Bihar.