Kisaan Anthem 2 released on Mahila Kisan Diwas!

Despite facing arrests earlier in 2021, Punjabi singers once again asserted their solidarity with farmers by releasing the new farmers anthem on March 8.


Punjabi singer Shree Brar and many other artists marked the second Mahila Kisan Diwas of 2021 by releasing ‘Kisaan Anthem 2’ on March 8 to honour the farmers’ struggle that has continued for over 100 days against the three farm laws of the central government.

Although nearly double the length of the former songs, the new anthem praises the farmers’ movement and the contributions of women and men in continuing the protest months after its inception. According to the song’s teaser, these anthems are the singers’ way to voice his solidarity with agitating who are asserting their rights by opposing the Farmers (Empowerment and Protection) Agreement on Price Assurance & Farm Services Act, the Farmer’s Produce Trade and Commerce (Promotion and Facilitation) Act, the Essential Commodities (Amendment) Act.

The latest song begins by condemning the Union government for allowing elderly farmers to suffer on the street and asserts that farmers will “win or lay down their lives” as an homage to the peasant’s peaceful resolve.

However, the song ends with Brar talking about the man who died on Republic Day and was taken back to his home shrouded in the national flag. The song ends while flashing the message “So far about 250 invited Veer Bhais have been martyred in this agitation and in some jails. It’s not going to stop until you all come together. Let’s unite in this movement and stop it,” in Punjabi.

Brar was one of the first artists to release a song for the on-going struggle following the mass protests in November 2020. The song soon became the most popular song about the protest. In January this year, the artist was arrested on the pretext of encouraging anti-police and gangster-like activities in the video for another previously released unrelated song. However, supporters of the farmers protest alleged that Brar was being punished for releasing the Kisan Anthem, a song that inspired people to express solidarity with farmers.

The ‘Kisaan Anthem’ released on December 8, 2020 showed visuals of the peaceful protest with farmers distributing langar among people. Meanwhile artists in the video such as Afsana Khan sang lyrics in front of placards that sported hashtags saying “Support Farmers.” Even then, Mankirt Aulakh, Nishawn Bhullar, Jass Bajwa, Jordan Sandhu, Fazilpuria, Dilpreet Dhillon, DJ Flow and Bobby Sandhu praised women farmers old and young for leaving their fields to support the farmers movement. The song also condemned mainstream media for failing to responsibly cover the farmers’ movement.

On February 23, 2021, singer Hassrat did a rendition of Punjabi poet Sant Ram Udasi’s poem ‘Delhi Dayala Vekh’ with images of the on-going struggle flashing in the back of the video.

Similarly, artist Sarkari released the ‘Kisan Anthem’ song on January 10, 2021 in anticipation of the farmers’ tractor parade on January 26. The three-minute song also showed visuals of a person matching Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s appearance being surrounded from all sides by people. The song mocked mainstream news media as the government’s “minions.”

Protest singer Poojan Sahil also released a rendition of the popular ‘Bella Ciao’ song and renamed it “Farm Laws Vapas Jao.” Regarding the song, Sahil wrote in the About section, “Farmers from Punjab, Haryana, UP and across India are protesting against the farm laws at Delhi Borders. This song is in solidarity with them… Bella ciao is an Italian protest folk song that originated in the hardships of the mondina women, the paddy field workers in the late 19th century who sang it to protest against harsh working conditions in the paddy fields of North Italy.”

Every month artists continue to come up with such songs to keep morale high. As the protest continues, farmer leaders state that they will not relent until the three laws are withdrawn and Minimum Support Price (MSP) is legalised in India.


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