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Railla, a cultural protest!

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Madhu Dhurve

(Translated from Hindi to English by Pallavi Wardhan)

Railla consists of not one, not a thousand but a crowd of hundreds of millions hard-working people. The term ‘Railla’ is derived from a Gondi language, which literally means ‘when everyone comes out of their illusionary life and face the real world together’.

Railla is a platform started in the year 2015, to promote folk culture. It was created by artists and art lovers from different states of India with a special intention. It is nothing but a colourful flag for everyone living on the open land of the city, from all the streets of India. It has the courage to keep things upright with truth, in front of it. Railla progresses ahead with ‘unity’ as its motto.

This is not an entertainment cultural platform; rather it collaborates with common people to fight against oppression, different types of illusions, heinous discrimination, humanism and capitalism in society, through their songs. Railla is a cloud of free songs which provokes the sky to wave in the open air. Railla is a mix of our past, present and the truth about our expectations spread in every direction. Railla echoes the struggle of every human being which encourages everyone to think deeper.

All the artists of Railla group (singers and musicians) belong to the oppressed class; the ones who are fighting for their existence against the upper classes, till today. These artists have their own identity in Railla who love their art genuinely and present it to the world with insightfully.

Railla performs for those communities who receive immense strength and courage through those songs. Railla sings so that the voice of the public would reach where it needs to, so that everyone gets together. This platform has begun in some Indian states, from which Railla has performed at some protests and public meetings already.

Railla group members belong to different states. Suraj Bhan ji, from Chhattisgarh, plays Maori instrument and works at Shahid hospital. Chhatram ji grazes cows and plays flute for Railla group, Chandanji is a drummer who works at a medical shop while Kaladas ji has been associated with various musicians and artist groups.

Some young artists who help Railla succeed are: Pushpa, Geeta, Rachna, Ranoo. From Madhya Pradesh – Madhu Dharve, Gudiya Dhurve, Mona, Pooja. These artists also work with Railla along with studying. From Odisha, Govardhan works for the organization. Jatin is a teacher by profession and also works with Railla. Chittaranjan ji also teaches children and is a member of Railla. Dayari ji and Ajit are the singers of Railla group.

Railla participated in a protest against the capitalist policy of Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank, at Azad Maidan (Mumbai) on 23/6/2018. With this song…

अरे! बस इतना किया हैं
तूने जनता को
लूट लूट खाया.
बता कुर्सी तोड़ने वाले
तूने क्या बनाया बता ?
पहने हो जो कपड़े
मजदूर ने बनाया हैं,
पहने हो जूता
मजदूर ने बनाया हैं.
किसी के महल को
मजदूर ने बनाया हैं.
सोते हो जो पलंग
वो मजदूर ने बनाया हैं.
इज्जत तेरा बचाया
और आबरू बचाया हैं.
कुर्सी तोड़ने वाले
तूने क्या बनाया बता?.
घड़ी भी बनाया हैं
रेडिओ बनाया हैं.
सायकल को बनाया
मोटर कार को बनाया हैं.
उड़ते हो जो जहाज़
वो मजदूर ने बनाया हैं.
करते हो जो बात
उस फोन को बनाया हैं.
अरे फिर भी भूखा मरता
तुझे पूछने को आया बता?
कुर्सी तोड़ने वाले
तूने क्या बनाया,
बता?

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