|Hip hop music by MC Kash|
|Human rights abuses
in Jammu and Kashmir
"I Protest" is a rap song by a Kashmiri singer MC Kash, that he sang in 2010. The song that is about the unrest in Indian Kashmir and human right abuses by local security forces, became an immediate hit in the valley and outside. The song was sung during protests. The studio where the song was recorded was raided by the local police after the song was released and the staff was questioned about involvement of any separatist leader. Kash, who was emotionally disturbed by the killings of youth, including his friend, in the unrest and the sufferings of Kashmiris, wrote the song. According to Kash, he wrote this in English to make the whole world aware of the situation in Kashmir. Kash faced hard time in recording his songs after this song was released as most of the studios denied facilitating him and he felt considerable pressure to stop raising such issues in his songs after people close to him showed concern about his security.
The year 2010 saw an uprising in Jammu and Kashmir against the state by the locals, who took to streets protesting against the rule by India, in the state. More than 111 people (about 123) were killed in protests by the security forces, during this uprising.
The lyrics to the song are graphic. The song's video begin with news clippings about the protests during the 2010 uprising. Kash challenges the Indian occupation in the song by saying, "Tales from the dark side of a murderous regime, an endless occupation of our land an' our dreams", which is considered sedition according to Indian law, where no one can question India's claim over Kashmir. He also criticizes the local media of not fully covering the human right violations in the region by saying "sponsored media who hide this genocide". The song ends with the name of those sixty five people who lost their lives during the struggle in 2010, up till September.
The song made Kash a celebrity among the people of the valley and it became a protest anthem for the Kashmiris who were protesting against the state. Kashmiri youth express their protest against the security forces, by displaying "I Protest" banners in blogs, social networking sites, etc. Those who didn't come out of their homes usually also put "I Protest" as their status on social networking sites. Groups by the name of "I Protest" were also started on Facebook that was updated with the deeds of Indian security forces against the civilians by posting stories, pictures and videos. Kash influenced many other Kashmiri youngsters to express their feelings through the art of singing. A verse from this song (I Protest, Until My Freedon Has Come) became the title of the book Until My Freedon Has Come, a collection of essays on Kashmir, edited by Sanjay Kak.
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- Nitasha Kaul (August 2011). Kejriwal, Pritha, ed. "MC Kash: That bayonet of a voice". Kindle (India: Ink Publications) 2 (5): 23. Retrieved 10 July 2012.