Beyond the beatings, here’s a look at the beats of the Bengal election ⁠— from Bella Ciao to electronic tunes

Beyond the beatings, here’s a look at the beats of the Bengal election ⁠— from Bella Ciao to electronic tunes
BCCL
  • A new battle of songs has erupted in West Bengal ahead of the upcoming state assembly election.
  • Here’s a look at BJP’s Bengali rehash of the popular Spanish song, Bella Ciao, from the Netflix series Money Heist.
  • This salvo from the Bengal BJP was in response TMC’s Khela Hobe, a recent slogan that loosely translates to ‘Game On’⁠.
  • Check out the latest news and updates on Business Insider.
Just a month ago, India’s Nobel Prize-winning icon Rabindranath Tagore was getting pulled left, right and centre in West Bengal’s violent tug of war⁠ ahead of the upcoming state assembly election. While the violence hasn’t tempered down, a new battle of songs has erupted in the Indian state on the east, bordering Bangladesh.

“Didi walks 4 kilometres in Bolpur with Tagore in hand,” read the headline on The Telegraph’s report on the incumbent Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee’s rally on December 30⁠ — for her party, the Trinamool Congress (TMC) ⁠— in the town where the Nobel laureate was born 179 years ago. Before that, Prime Minister Narendra Modi, from the rival Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), was seen as modelling himself in the image of the late poet.

Beyond the beatings, here’s a look at the beats of the Bengal election ⁠— from Bella Ciao to electronic tunes
Narendra Modi/Twitter

While dragging Tagore for political points, unprecedented as it was in recent decades, remained a topic of debate for a while, all the parties (including the Communists) have now started singing different tunes to take down their rivals.
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Here’s a look at BJP’s Bengali rehash of the popular Spanish song, Bella Ciao, from the Netflix series Money Heist. This one is titled ‘ Pishi Jao’, which would translate in English to, “Aunt, Get out”, referring to the TMC chief who is more popular as Didi (elder sister).


This salvo from the Bengal BJP was in response TMC’s Khela Hobe, a recent slogan that loosely translates to ‘Game On’⁠. The slogan became an instant hit and the essence of it ⁠— whether it is a call for violence or not⁠ — has been hotly debated in recent weeks.

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What’s better, supporters of the ruling government have added some catchy beats and the track is being used to mobilise support during rallies. There are multiple versions of Khela Hobe on YouTube and many of them have over 2 million views each.


The race to form the government in West Bengal is being pegged as a tight race between Banerjee’s TMC and the BJP led by the likes of Union Home Minister Amit Shah and party president JP Nadda.

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While the Communist Party of India (Marxist), which ruled the state for over three decades straight, is considered to be a distant third, the CPI(M) is not trailing in the battle of the beats.

The party has picked Tumpa Sona, a song⁠ — it originally featured in the web series Rest in Prem ⁠— which has become an anthem for millions of young Bengalis on YouTube.


A rehashed Bella Ciao was not the first musical volley from the BJP. In March 2020, it released a video Aar Noi Onnay (No More Injustice). It barely made a mark.
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The upcoming state assembly election in Bengal is a high stakes battle between two parties that are known to leave no stone unturned. While disorder and deaths were expected, the battle of the beats has definitely come as a pleasant surprise.

Here’s a hilarious podcast on Business Insider that will give you more perspective on all that’s happening in Bengal in the run up to the election.

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