Sumeet Samos is a familiar name for those who follow the political developments in Indian campuses. Sumeet hails from Koraput district in Odisha and had been constantly rapping calling forth attention towards narratives and counter-narratives on caste. He is an Ambedkarite, a former student of Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) and an active presence in student protests with his songs.
Sumeet is out with two politically charged songs ‘Suno Suno Odisha Ro Kotha‘ (Hey Hey Listen to a Tale about Odisha) and ‘Still Blame Reservations.’
Sumeet spoke to TWJ about the context in which he wrote the song. ‘After I watched ‘This is America‘ by Childish Gambino, it just clicked me about certain dominant symbols, narratives that run in Odisha. I wrote juxtaposing the same with the current situation of Dalits and Adivasis,’ he said.
‘Suno Suno Odisha Ro Kotha‘ calls out to the Odisha culture that does not have space for the marginalized.
My people are being / Fooled in the name of / One rupee rice for years, Sumeet raps. His song mentions state oppression in the form of land grabbing and the violence in Kandhamal. Hey Dalits and Adivasis / When we gonna be free, he asks and offers a solution when he says ‘You need to resurrect through Jai Bhim.’
‘Caste is the reality / Quota ain’t no charity,’ Sumeet makes it clear in ‘Still Blame Reservations.‘ He talks about how Dalits, Adivasis and other marginalised sections of the society are the ones who ‘build your houses‘ and ‘till your lands‘ pointing at the violence that Brahmanism propagates through caste system that oppresses the food producers and artisans while talking about ‘merit.’
Sumeet had been active with his political rap for past one year. He has produced 6 songs so far. You can listen to his music here.