Notes of Kabirvaani in Hindutva hotbed

Tipaniya, on the other hand, breaks into a song on demand in the street. His meetings are attended by many women who have taken a liking to his devotional songs. He appeals for votes in between the songs. DH photo

An internationally acclaimed folk singer of Kabir bhajans is slugging it out in the electoral contest in Dewas, an RSS stronghold, which hogged national headlines 10-12 years ago for the murder of RSS activist Sunil Joshi.

Joshi’s name had surfaced in the Mecca Masjid, Samjhouta Express and Malegaon bomb blast cases.

Joshi was shot dead on December 29, 2007, a few yards away from his residence near Chuna Khadan area of Dewas. In this connection, Sadhvi Pragya Thakur and others were arrested in 2008 by the Dewas police but later released by a Dewas court in 2017.

In 2019, Pragya Thakur is BJP’s candidate in Bhopal, while Dewas, a seat reserved for the Scheduled Castes, has to choose between Congress’ Prahlad Tipaniya, who sings Kabir Bhajans in the Malwi folk style, and a former judge, Mahendra Singh Solanki of BJP, who banks entirely on the Modi factor.

Congress’s Sajjan Singh, in 2009, had defeated BJP’s prominent Scheduled Caste leader Thawar Chand Gehlot, who is now the Union minister for social justice and welfare.

The margin of victory for the Congress candidate was nearly 15,000, but when he lost in 2014 to BJP’s Manohar Untwal, the margin of defeat was more than 2 lakh. That was part of the Modi wave.

The campaign styles of the reclusive judge and the public performer are very different.

Solanki is meeting voters with his bio-data, listing out his life as a lawyer and an RSS member. He was fielded from the seat Manohar Untwal contested in the last Assembly election and won.

Tipaniya, on the other hand, breaks into a song on demand in the street. His meetings are attended by many women who have taken a liking to his devotional songs. He appeals for votes in between the songs.

A Padma Shri awardee, Tipaniya is a household name for his Kabir bhajans. Tipaniya had sung a bhajan in the presence of Rahul Gandhi at an election meeting here, which the Congress chief had filmed and uploaded on Twitter. Tipaniya’s nephew Abhishek Yogi, who oversees his campaign says, “Our campaign is mainly through bhajans. We appeal for vote to the people who follow the teachings of the guru. We are more connected with the people”.

Dharmendra Keer from Maudi village says that in the last Lok Sabha elections, all the villagers had voted for Modi, but this time “Prahalad Tipaniya will win. He is known to all.”

Anoop Singh Keer says, “In the last election, the slogan of Hindutva worked. Had they built the Ram temple, they would have won even this time”. Teshna Prajapati, however, says “It’s Modi wave. He is doing good job. Only Modi will come.”

Narendra Modi or Rahul Gandhi? Who will win the battle royale of the Lok Sabha Elections 2019


Get real-time news updates, views and analysis on Lok Sabha Elections 2019 on Deccanherald.com/news/lok-sabha-elections-2019 


Like us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter and Instagram with #DHPoliticalTheatre for live updates on the Indian general elections 2019.

Comments (+)