Armaan Yadav is a rapper and poet from India who recently released the song Saffron Ablaze which covers the rising fascism in India and oppression of free speech.
“Over the last few years, India has been experiencing extremely violent acts, often motivated by religion and backed politically by certain groups of people in power. There has been a rise of fascism in the country, backed by the active censorship of voices of dissent– a vital force that keeps democracies in check. This track is an attempt to speak up against that. After all, the only way to maintain the right to free speech is to speak freely. Please note that just because I’m condemning the actions of a select few in this very short track does not mean that other political groups differ significantly. I will continue to actively combat what I feel is wrong, through words, not violence. True patriotism finds itself in the critique of the way of things, not in blind nationalism and mass hysteria. Thank you for supporting my music so far, I hope you continue to do so.”
Earlier this month whistleblower and hero Chelsea Manning was taken into custody for resisting a grand jury investigation into Wikileaks. Grand juries, in the United States of America, are a strange part of an already corrupt system in which prosecutors operate behind closed doors and without a judge or defense attorney present. Historically these grand juries have been used to oppress activists and dissidents.
Chelsea issued a statement where she explains her actions:
Already many people have been working to gather funds for her basic survival costs after she was released from a wrongful, 7 year long incarceration. Some of her friends created a benefit album a while back from which all proceeds go directly to Chelsea. The album, which features artists such as Tom Morello, Graham Nash, Anti-Flag, Ryan Harvey, Taina Aisili, Talib Kweli and many more, can be heard below and purchased through Bandcamp.
Additionally there is a contribution page available where you can help Chelsea pay for her legal fees during this new battle with a broken and corrupt system.
Cover photo: screenshot from Husky’s video ‘Judas’
Rapper Husky (Хаски) was recently detained by Russian authorities. As CrimeRussia reports “The prosecutor’s office considered the rapper’s work propaganda of drugs, and also found calls for extremism and suicide in his songs.”
Husky is known to rap about corruption and police brutality and his detention is one of many in recent row of arrests and oppression tactics towards outspoken, Russian artists.
The video to his song ‘Judas’ has been blocked on YouTube, which is possibly not surprising given the level of religious fanaticism in the country. Now he is facing troubled times as his concerts are being forcefully canceled and his earnings as a professional musician are in a limbo.
Established rapper Oxxxymiron posted a video on his Instagram page and the same information on his Facebook page about how he, and other rappers, will hold a benefit concert in solidarity with Husky.
Oxxxymiron speaks in the video about how important it is that artists stand together against the oppression that authorities are putting on these days, no matter if they share Husky’s opinions or not. The problem is bigger than individuals and he goes on saying that “Artists are blamed for the problems of society, because it is easier than to address these very problems.”