2018 Election Song strikes a chord with Karnataka voters

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Karnataka chief minister Siddaramaiah. Photo: Hemant Mishra/Mint

Bengaluru: With less than a week to go for the Karnataka assembly election, film director and lyricist Yogaraj Bhat released a politically charged new music video titled 2018 Election Song on Saturday. The track, which is from his under-production youth-centric film Panchatantra, urges the youth to be politically engaged and go out and vote, at the same time acknowledging the lack of faith many people have in candidates. V. Harikrishna has composed the music—and also provided vocals along with Shashank Sheshagiri—for the track, which has quickly gone viral, receiving over 90,000 views in under 24 hours.

“The song is quite interesting because it captures the mood of the people,” says journalist and film critic G.S. Kumar, adding that this election offers a tough choice to voters, with many candidates having been accused of corruption or other criminal activities. “What Yogaraj Bhat shows in the video is very close to people’s hearts. It gives us some satisfaction, that somebody is there to reflect our views and emotions.”

2018 Election Song is Bhat’s second release in three weeks that aims to inspire the youth to vote. On 13 April, the state’s chief electoral officer Sanjiv Kumar released the official Karnataka election anthem, a first for the state. Titled Maadi Maadi Matadana, the track features lyrics by Bhat and music by V. Harikrishna, with Vijay Prakash providing vocals. Bhat has also directed the anthem’s video which features more than 150 artistes in 30 locations across the state.

“We have brought the true spirit of Karnataka in our anthem and the message is loud and clear as to why everyone needs to come out and vote,” Bhat told reporters at a press conference marking the anthem’s release. “We hope that the anthem will play its part in increasing the voter turnout this time.”

In another initiative, the state election commission has roped in ex-cricketer Rahul Dravid as the state election icon. Also, 450 all-women polling stations are being set up, and a special drive conducted to register primitive groups and nomadic tribes.

“I think these are beautiful initiatives,” says popular Fever 104 FM radio jockey and actor Danish Sait. “I hope people take inspiration from their heroes and go out to cast their vote.”

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