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Singing for #BlackLivesMatter, Dalit JNU alumni seeks to expose Indian 'hypocrisy'

By Our Representative
In a unique move, a 27-year-old from Tentulipadar, a village in Odisha’s Koraput district, who is post-graduate in Spanish and Latin American Literature from Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) has been on an anti-caste mission by rooting lyrics in his lived experiences as a Dalit man.
A presenter at French Radio Live, Sumeet Samos has taken his rap to various parts of France and Mauritius, where small gatherings of people, ranging from school children to seniors, are made familiar with discussions on caste and its ramifications in India, including reservation in education and jobs and honour killings, using videos, maps and illustrations.
Excited by the reach of social media and its revolutionary potential, he decided to combine his lived reality, academic background and experience in activism (as a part of the Birsa Ambedkar Phule Students’ Association) with songs that sound like protest anthems and powerful declarations, instead of run-of-the-mill rap tracks about machismo and money, says a report.
“While others may rap about beautiful women, owning property and cars, Samos raps about the lack of resources for the marginalised, land grabbing and institutional murders of Dalit scholars. His songs represent a counter-culture, not entertainment”, the report says, quoting him as saying, “I never turn down an opportunity to perform on an academic campus or at a protest.”
One who has performed at over 100 events, his latest releases are Fighter and Jaati. In Jaati, he calls out the hypocrisy of Indians who will support Black Lives Matter, while staying mum on caste-based atrocities in India. Fighter, on the other hand, is more of a personal journey of his anti-caste politics inspired by BR Ambedkar.

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