1984 by Raxstar & DJ Harpz
From the Immortal Productions album “Jujharu Khalsa”
Vocals & Lyrics by Raxstar
Produced by DJ Harpz
Video by Narvir & Gurbir
The concept of the video was to personify the Indian Government’s oppression and the Sikh struggle into two characters to depict the last 60 years, both artistically and poetically. The painting at the beginning represents a time of culture and art, destroyed by the 1947 partition and the 1966 re-mapping of Punjab. The hit with the bat is the final blow of systematic destruction and signals the beginning of the Genocide’s physical violence. The torturing that follows represents the decade of police extermination through Operation Woodrose in the 1980s and early 1990s. The burning of the art piece represents the burning of the Sikh Reference Library after it was looted by the Indian Army. The ripping of Gunisha Kaur’s ‘Lost in History’ represents the destruction of Sikh intelligentsia whilst the feeding of bugs/insects is a metaphor for the substituted propaganda we have been fed. The bit of the video that has triggered the most debate? “Hey narvz, what does the ending mean?!” Like the entire video, and like all art, it’s open to interpretation. For me, the bystander who helped free the Sikh struggle never existed, hence why he disappears in the video twice. Far too many of us are waiting for someone to grant us what we want, whether its justice or freedom. The reality is, they’ll never come. We are what we’ve been waiting for and we must find our answers, ourselves.
ENGLISH LYRICS & TRANSLATION
The first step in liquidating a people is to erase its memory. Destroy its books, its culture, its history.
I’ve been planning this for months, saving up all I have, now I’ve packed my bags and said bye to mum and dad. Got a job in the city and todays the day I leave, never believed I could achieve all of this at 18. Before any journey starts I go to the Gurdwara, matha tek ke then I’m ready to proceed further. I got dreams and ambitions and I pray for success, for my family’s health and for the Lords blessing. Now I’m on the train and we’re moving, thinking about my life and how it’s slowly started improving. I hope that I can make some new friends when I get there. 7 hours cooped up in here I need some fresh air. Can’t explain it but for some reason a nervous feeling in me, the train slows down as we’re pulling into Delhi. I’m looking at the platform and I see a body burning and the mob gets on the train shouting grab the boy with the turban.
When that mother would have seen and experienced that hurt, when that child was screamed out, when her own husband who was a Indian army soldier who used to salute India, who’s head was smashed with weapons and crushed without any remorse – think what would’ve that wife experienced and suffered who had seen her husband dying in agony this way?
I remember being confused cos there were just the 4 of us, me my mum and dad and older brother it was always love. Around the way they called me Mr Singhs youngest. They knew him as a soldier cos he fought for our country. But mum said that people that took him they didn’t care. I knew she was lying when she said I shouldn’t be scared. What’s stronger than a mothers bond? Why did she start crying when I ask her where my brothers gone? Or what they’ve done with dad? Are either of them ever coming back? Why did people say we killed their mother when we didn’t? Why are all my uncles and cousin brothers in prison? When none of us are criminals and when they came here why did you tell them I’m a little girl and tie my hair in plaits? You said cos I’m a boy and they’d have killed me for that.
In our house a river of blood is flowing – for 3 days dead bodies lay. I went to alert the general, to the police, who didn’t I go to? Nobody picked up the bodies. 3 days later I gathered items from the house and cremated my son and husband at home. I am deeply thankful to those Sikhs, Christians, Muslims and Hindus who at that time helped or saved Sikhs – their humanity and conscious was alive at that time – I am thankful to those people from the bottom of my heart.
I witnessed murder, a river of blood. Scratch that it was a slaughter, the image is stuck permanently in my mind of women and sons, fathers and daughters what have these innocents done? I tried to report it I tried to tell the police, they told me there’s a curfew and to get off the streets. I don’t understand, why did they just stand and watch? In my heart I know we’re all he same cos I’m a man of God. They said they’d kill me and my family if I tried to help. This is my idea of hell. I thought that I had failed. My Sikh neighbor lived by himself, I snuck into his house when I found him he was all alone. We had to hide him from the killers when we brought him home. I saved a life but so many people saw me run. I just wish there was more that I could’ve done. I just wish there was more that I could’ve done.
Hurt should not be inflicted on any human. Not an innocent Hindu nor any innocent Muslim nor a Christian nor any innocent Sikh should die in this country. It is our duty, it is the laws duty, it is our parliaments duty that they should promote unity and foster a sense of brotherhood. If not today tomorrow – it doesn’t take long to become a slave.
An explanation of the video can be found here.