Kovan (singer)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search

ResidenceOraiyur, Trichy district
EducationIndustrial Training Institute, Nagapattinam
Occupationfolk singer

S.Sivadas better known as Kovan is a folk singer from the activist cultural and arts group Makkal Kalai Ilakkiya Kazhagam (People's Art and Literary Association).[1] He is known for composing songs and music about concerns and issues of marginalized people.[1]His arrest was criticised by human rights groups including Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International. [2][3]

Arrests over songs[edit]

In the wake of widespread prohibition movement in Tamil Nadu, Kovan wrote, composed and performed songs criticizing government-run alcohol shops and the governments in power. Those songs came to the attention of officials sympathetic to the AIADMK led state government. In late October, Kovan was arrested by TN Cyber Crime Police "under Sections 124-A (Sedition), 153 (Provoking riots), 505 (1) (b and c) (intent to cause fear and alarm to public against state and incitement). His crime – to have written, performed and released on the internet, songs criticising the state government of Tamil Nadu and its Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa on the burning issue of Prohibition".[1] His arrest prompted wide condemnation from human rights organizations,[4] activist groups, political parties and student bodies with notable exceptions of AIADMK and TN Bharatiya Janata Party. The songs went viral through social media and chat apps.[5][6]

The state government considers these songs derogatory, sedition and it is attempting to remove these songs from YouTube. It is also trying to shut down the vinavu.com website supportive of the artist works.[7] Amnesty International India re iterated its call to repeal the archaic sedition law. It stated that sedation laws is often used to curb the freedom of expression. Sedition law was first created and used by the colonial British government against the Indian independence movement. Kovan was released on bail on 16 November 2015.He was again arrested for a song against the Ram Rath Yatra and Narendra Modi.[8]


  1. ^ a b c "Hail Amma! Tamil folk singer Kovan arrested for criticising Jayalalithaa's 'liquor-on-tap' policy". Firstpost. 2015. Retrieved 1 November 2015.
  2. ^ "India: Folk Singer Jailed for Sedition". Human Rights Watch. 3 November 2015. Retrieved 13 April 2018.
  3. ^ "Dalit Folk Singer Arrested For 'Sedition' Must Be Released". Amnesty International. 31 October 2015. Retrieved 13 April 2018.
  4. ^ "Tamil Nadu singer arrest: Human rights groups demand Kovan's release, call for scrapping sedition law". The Indian Express. 2015. Retrieved 1 November 2015.
  5. ^ "Kovan's songs go viral on social media". The Hindu. 2015. Retrieved 1 November 2015.
  6. ^ "Indian folk singer held on sedition charges". The Guardian. 3 November 2015. Retrieved 13 April 2018.
  7. ^ "வினவு தளம் மீது அடக்குமுறை". vinavu.com. 2015. Retrieved 1 November 2015.
  8. ^ "Leftist singer Kovan arrested for song against PM Narendra Modi". The Economic Times. 13 April 2018. Retrieved 13 April 2018.