Harish Kamble, a young music enthusiast from Karnataka has taken the social media platform by storm with his unique piece of musical art. Harish makes rap songs that critique the prevalent caste system, injustice, inequality, atrocities against marginalized and suppressed classes. He is the first-ever hip-hop rap music artist in Kannada who sings songs debunking caste.
The anti-caste rapper uses his poetry and unique art as a weapon, in a three-minute musical video challenging the upper classes to give up caste-based discrimination before questioning reservation while pitching for the establishment of an egalitarian society:
“You first stop discriminating against people on the basis of caste and religion, then we will give up reservation.”
In the music video called “Jati” ( caste) Harish talks about how caste system keeps the society backward and puts lower caste people at a disadvantage.
Harish Kamble, the young musician and a social activist hails from a peasant family in Hatyal village located in the historically significant Basava Kalyan in Bidar district in North Karnataka. A science graduate, Harish ekes out a living working as a teacher.
Now in his mid-twenties, Harish developed a passion for writing poetry during his college days. He enjoys reading books of historical icons like Buddha, Basava, Ambedkar who strived for humanity.
Many young budding writers focus to write on romance, land, water, and other issues but Harish decided to speak his heart. Young Harish has chosen the Bandaya (Rebel) genre regarded as progressive literature to express his thoughts and his latest experiment in fusing this literature to modern rap music is quite impressive.
Harish says, he aspires to recall, revamp the Vachana movement giving it with the modern touch and contributing his bit. Vachanas are the writings in Kannada that evolved in the 11th century CE as part of the Sharana Movement fought superstition and brought awareness to mankind.
The budding artist first uploaded his first rap song on social media last year platform but it is during the pandemic that his video is getting a lot of appreciation. He has also got opposition and threatening calls from people who do not like the critique of the caste system.
Speaking to gaurilankeshnews.com, Harish termed the attack on the rights of people as detrimental to the very essence of the constitution. He also stressed on the need for youth to become aware to secure the democracy, secular credential at a time when caste, religion-based intolerance is gaining strength.
His other musical piece “Mahamari Kathe” the young musician has tried to unveil the distress of the poor people due to the anti-poor policies of the government, particularly during the present ongoing COVID 19 pandemic. “Rajaneeti” his other hip hop is in the making and would be soon released he reveled.
Harish is of the firm opinion that evils like caste-based discrimination, untouchability would not end by just adhering to ‘sahapankti bhojana’ (an inter-caste shared meal) and stresses for complete inclusiveness. He also said that opposition raised against the telecasting of ‘Mahanayak’ the popular Kannada serial on the life of visionary Dr. Ambedkar was very unfortunate and hope that people opposing would mend their approach.
Although rap song is not popular in Kannada, Harish has developed expertise in the art form on his own, which highlight his innovative skills. He also aspires to carve a niche in the small screen and cinema industry if an opportunity comes.
Harish says- “Racial discrimination in America led to the birth of rap and Hip hop in America and this art form subsequently gained popularity in the rest of the world. Youths have a major inclination towards this art form and there is a growing demand for rap songs including in India which is no exception.