YouTube India has removed several songs related to the farmer protests following a complaint from the Indian government.
YouTube has removed one of music video by famous Punjabi singer Kanwar Grewal titled “Ailaan”, that was related to the ongoing farmer protest, which had the punchline “Faslaan de faisley kisaan karuga” (but decisions of the fields will be made by the farmer).
The four-minute song personifies Delhi as a power centre and describes its tussle with the farmers. It says, ‘The farmers will trouble you together, Delhi. You won’t gain anything from this, you only will lose; all farming decisions will be taken by farmers.’
The video has garnered almost 60 lakh views before it was taken down.
YouTube has placed a notification on the original video saying that “This content is not available on this country domain due to a legal complaint from the government.”, On the other hand producers and singers say they weren’t notified of the removal and only found out from listeners.
“Asi Vaddange” a video by artist Himmat Sandhu which had 1.3 crore views has also been blocked on the platform.
Supporters of the farmers’ movement say the censorship is an attempt to kill songs of resistance.
Both songs can be viewed outside India but can’t be accessed by anyone inside the country, however the fans of the singers posted the copies of the same video on various other channel on YouTube which can be still accessed.
Last week, The Ministry of Electronics and IT has sent 3 notices and asked Twitter to remove 1178 accounts that it said were used to provoke farmers. Farmers are protesting against three new agriculture bills that they say threaten their livelihoods and make them vulnerable to exploitation by private buyers.
Several Punjabi celebrities and singers have come out in support of the farmers as the government toughens its stance on social media accounts spreading misinformation and malicious and inflammatory content as well.