Remember the ska tune "A Message to You, Rudy" by the British band The Specials? Now an Indian band called the Ska Vengers is making waves with a cover of the song that wades deeply into politics.
They call their version "Modi, A Message to You." The song is squarely aimed at Narendra Modi, the controversial Hindu nationalist who is the frontrunner to be elected prime minister in India's current elections. The song blasts Modi, the top elected official in the state of Gujarat, for a long list of alleged wrongdoings.
The song's lyrics include:
Stop your fooling around /
Messing up our future /
Time to straighten right out /
You should have wound up in jail /
Modi, A message to you. /
Modi, A message to you.
The band's lead singer, who goes by the name Delhi Sultanate, says he has good reason for denouncing Modi. "In 2002, we had terrible riots in the state of Gujarat, some people have described it as a pogrom in which more than 2,000 Muslims had been killed. Many people are convinced that he played a direct role in these riots."
Sultanate says that people know about Modi's past, but the media plays a huge role in how people perceive and interpret events. "And this man has a huge, very well-funded PR campaign."
The music video ends pointedly with swastikas spinning in a cartoonish rendering of Modi's eyes. Sultanate doesn't apologize for equating Modi with the Nazis. "It's not arbitrary. We put them there for a reason," he says. "The point is to drive home the fact that this man was directly involved in the very gruesome killing of over 2,000 people."
The video "Modi, A Message to You" currently has more than 20,000 page views on YouTube.