16 June, 2021

These Arrows Don’t Miss Their Mark

Like a lover to the beloved, singers and poets promise Babasaheb the world of his dreams, while WhatsApp messages on him become a social scientist’s delight

Tiger Tales
Album jacket of a Marathi compilation of Bhim Geet
These Arrows Don’t Miss Their Mark

Bhima, Bhim, Bhima, Bhim, Jai Jai Bhima
Jai Bhim, Jai Bhim, Jai Jai Bhima

Riding on a chorus, the rhythmic chant gathers momentum—like history itself—and rises to a crescendo. The background music keeps up with the frenetic pace. This hugely popular song, set to DJ-style music by S.S. Azad, has a beat that gets into your body rhythm. It makes you tap your feet and want to tango with Babasaheb. As statue-saturated Ambedkar transforms into formless, mystical idea, you don’t even realise it is happening. The song somehow makes Baba so endearing, there comes a point when you too merge yourself with Him. Like the great Nusrat singing Allah hu, Azad manages to bring us closer to his god. In the Hindi lyric—“Tod zanzeeron ko azad ban jayenge hum”—the word azad (free) also weaves in the poet’s signature.

We’ll break the shackles, we’ll be free
Jai Bhim is the chant that will set us...

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