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Congress says Jai Ho, BJP says not quite
NEW DELHI, MAR 20 (AGENCIES):
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Published on 21 Mar. 2009 1:02 AM IST
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After dominating Bollywood blogs and interviews, status messages on social media sites and many television discussions, Slumdog controversies have now spilt over to the political battlefield. In a week since it launched, the Congress’ take on AR Rahman’s Jai Ho is playing all over. And Congressmen are smug in the belief that they have pulled off a minor coup in grabbing the song that the world is humming this year and in associating the resonant Jai Ho with the party. The Congress version has an India-Bharat glory theme, with a liberal dose of Manmohan Singh and the Gandhis thrown in. Partymen say the song typifies the Congress spirit. As Manish Tewari, a Congress spokesman, put it, “We decided to adopt Jai Ho for our election campaign because it typifies the spirit with which the Congress-led UPA government has ruled the country.” But other parties are not singing along. And in a case that may be a bit of sour grapes, BJP rushed to point out that the most abiding and graphic visual element of Jai Ho and the film Slumdog Millionaire are the slums and poverty in the country. “What will people say Jai Ho for the Congress? Will it be Jai Ho corruption? Will it be Jai Ho inflation? Will it be Jai Ho Afzal? Will it be Jai Ho price rise? Will it be Jai Ho terrorism? Whenever people will listen to Congress’ Jai Ho from the film Slumdog Millionaire, they will be reminded of the slums and poverty in India,” says Prakash Javedekar of the BJP. Not to be left behind, Amar Singh of the Samajwadi Party, at this moment on the wrong side of the Congress, has said that a song cannot win an election for a party, which needs to do something substantial. Singh is also very likely to subscribe to his good friend Amitabh Bachchan’s not so complimentary views on Slumdog. While the parties try to best each other, the song’s lyricist is not happy either. Lyricist Gulzar has made clear he would like the song kept away from politics. Film music and songs have been used in several campaigns. But probably for the first time, it has created grounds for a political battle. It remains to be seen what impact, if any, it will have on the voter.

 
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