In a week when endless words are being spent deconstructing the meaning of Michael Jackson’s life and legacy, This video provides a stunningly powerful example of the role of music at the opposite end of the spectrum.
Bant Singh is a singer and farmer from Punjab, India. His story is told in detail on the Wikipedia page about him. In short, his young daughter was raped, and he had the perpetrators prosecuted – the first time a Dalit (often refered to as the ‘untouchables’) had successfully prosecuted someone from a higher caste for rape.
In retaliation he was attacked, beaten and left for dead. His injuries were so bad that he lost both hands and one leg.
Now, watch the video – see if you can detect any bitterness from him. The evil against him just gives him fuel for more songs to inspire the poor. Unbelievable. Such a incredible guy. I heard about him through Vijay Nair, one of the most inspiring music industry thinkers I’ve met in a long time, and someone with the passion of an activist about the power of music to change the world.
Anyone want to attempt a comparison between this and the video to, say, Earth Song?