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Sumeet Samos’ hip-hop way to challenge the caste system

The rapper’s song ‘Ladai Seekh Le’ invokes symbols of injustice in India and urges the victims to fight and take back what is rightly theirs

New Delhi, August 7. Sumeet Samos has chosen the hip-hop way to protest against the brahmanical caste system.

He has released a video of his Hindi hip-hop song Ladai Seekh Le in collaboration with Qweed Media.

The 24-year-old scholar of Spanish language in Jawaharlal Nehru University hails from Tentulpada,  a small village in the state of Odisha.

The music video begins with Samos, a Dalit, narrating his own experience of caste discrimination in, of all places, the supposedly progressive Jawaharlal Nehru University. The song has references to atrocities against Dalits – Bathani Tola, Mirchpur, Rohith Vemula and so on. It talks about the parasitism of the upper castes and the not-so-talked-about racism in India. The injustice against Adivasis – of the jal, jangal, zameen (water, forest, land) being taken away from them – also gets a mention.

Sumeet Samos

Hip-hop or rap became popular during the Civil Rights movement in the United States and became, in the hands of the African Americans, an important tool of resistance against racism, discrimination and oppression. The genre came to India sometime ago, but with Ladai Seekh Le, it has again been employed to fight injustice – the injustice of caste.  

The music video of Ladai Seekh Le courses through the slum alleys as Samos tells the victims of caste injustice to fight and take back what is theirs – before finally running into a wall that says ‘Free Chandrasekhar Ravan’, the Bhim Army who has been jailed for more than a year now. Samos’ last words in the song: “Jai Bhim!”   

copy-editing: Anil

Forward Press also publishes books on Bahujan issues. Forward Press Books sheds light on the widespread problems as well as the finer aspects of Bahujan (Dalit, OBC, Adivasi, Nomadic, Pasmanda) society, culture, literature and politics. Contact us for a list of FP Books’ titles and to order. Mobile: +917827427311, Email: info@forwardmagazine.in)

The titles from Forward Press Books are also available on Kindle and these e-books cost less than their print versions. Browse and buy:

The Case for Bahujan Literature

Mahishasur: A people’s hero

Dalit Panthers: An Authoritative History

Mahishasur: Mithak wa Paramparayen

The Common Man Speaks Out

Jati ke Prashn Par Kabir

About The Author

Saptaparni Goon

Saptaparni Goon is a freelance journalist. She has worked with the Indian Social Institute, Delhi

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