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How Narendra Modi's new anthem was made

March 30, 2014 16:16 IST

Last week, the Bharatiya Janata Party released its anthem for the Lok Sabha polls.

Titled Saugandh mujhe iss mitti ki, main desh nahi mittne dunga, it features BJP's prime ministerial candidate, Narendra Modi, narrating a few lines of the lyrics.

Vani Tripathi Tikoo, national secretary, BJP, speaks with Manavi Kapur about what went behind the making of the anthem and its popularity so far

Why did BJP choose lyricist Prasoon Joshi for writing the lyrics for its anthem? Was he your first choice?

Joshi has worked with our party earlier -- he was an active member of the creative team that designed BJP's election campaign in 2009.

His campaign in 2009, where he worked closely with L K Advaniji, was quite interesting, and for our party he is absolutely the right choice.

Joshi is a formidable lyricist with an immense mass appeal. But besides that, he is also socially conscious.

The lyrics that he has written in the past are sensitive toward gender and other social issues that trouble the citizens of the country. His words echo a citizen's thought process, a citizen who is troubled at the state of the country.

There is a sense of social activism in his art.

How was the anthem ideated and brought together? What is the brief that the party gave to Joshi? The video description on YouTube says that the anthem has portions where the party's prime ministerial candidate, Narendra Modi, speaks. How was this incorporated with the concept of the anthem?

The video has Modiji speaking a few words from the anthem's lyrics. The idea was to create a parallel narrative in Modiji's voice, which is in consonance with the narrative of development. The visual of him speaking gives a face to the hope that the party promises. His voice overlaps with the lyrics of the song.

Joshi is an intrinsic part of our campaign and an active contributor to the process of ideation of this anthem. He is also an advertising guru, so he understands how to run successful campaigns.

And having worked with the party before, he is thematically aware of BJP's ideology, which made the ideation and creation of this anthem quite smooth.

The singer, Sukhwinder Singh, said that he wasn't aware that the song he was singing was an anthem for a political party. Can you comment on that?

I'm not aware of this statement so I cannot comment on this issue. The right person to answer this question would be the composer, Aadesh Shrivastav.

All I can say is that Singh has done a spectacular job and his voice works very well with the overall emotion behind the anthem.

Is the creative visualisation of the anthem in line with the lyrics? Has it, so far, been a success?

The party's IT team tells me that the video has received several hits on the Internet and has gone viral. People have loved it because it offers hope and good governance -- the two issues that are at the core of this year's Lok Sabha polls.

Campaigns are not film songs. They are not lip-synced and the characters don't randomly break out into a song. They also have to deliver a message and take the story forward.

The storytelling, visual narrative and what the audience hears - all have to be carefully in sync.

The visuals are very much in line with lyrics, delivering the party's message positively. The anthem is very vividly pictured and I'm sure it will stick in people's minds.

Image: Vani Tripathi Tikoo

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