Srinagar: A lawmaker from Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) released a song unmistakably similar to the “patriotic anthem” produced by the Pakistani military’s media wing for March 23, prompting reactions from Twitterati.
Raja Singh, a member of the Legislative Assembly in the southern state of Telangana, in a tweet on Friday announced that he would release a “new song” on April 14 on the occasion of Rama Navami, a spring Hindu festival, as a tribute to the Indian army.
The tweet was accompanied by a video of the BJP lawmaker recording the song at a studio, with its tune and lyrics almost identical to that of the Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR) song released ahead of Pakistan Day and sung by Sahir Ali Bagga. The lyrics of the Indian song, however, have been altered from ‘Pakistan Zindabad’ to ‘Hindustan Zindabad’.
Commenting on Singh’s video on Twitter, the director general of Pakistan’s ISPR, Maj Gen Asif Ghafoor said: “Glad that you copied. But copy to speak the truth as well.”
Also reacting to the video, senior journalist Hamid Mir said the BJP lawmaker’s song was “not [a] copy but theft” and termed Singh’s rendition as “unimpressive”.
“Hindutva Gang’s Hederabadi Bigot Raja Sindh sings a song ‘Hindustan Zindabad’ which is a blind copy of Pakistan Army’s ISRP theme song ‘Pakistan Zindabad,’ wrote political commentator Ashok Swain while commenting on the politician’s song.
In his next tweet, Swain posted the original song of Inter-Service Public Relations (ISPR), the media wing of the Pakistan Army.
Journalist Fe’reeha Idrees wondered why the BJP lawmaker could not come up with “something more original” despite the presence of a huge music industry in India.
Singh is not new to controversies. The BJP lawmaker was previously booked by police in several cases including for delivering hate speech and assaulting an on-duty police constable.
He has also made headlines last year for declaring that he would shoot Bangladeshis living illegally in India’s Assam state if they did not leave. He also appreciated Dalits being beaten by vigilantes in Gujarat in a publicly shared video.
While the local BJP leaders has distanced itself from Singh’s latest act, Raja Singh told Times of India he had no idea that the song was originally from Pakistan.
“I didn’t even hear that song. How will I know what those guys had composed. Maybe they copied my song as we compose song months before Ram Navami every year,” he said.