'Vote Haaki' song, written and sung by the Bengaluru-based independent filmmaker Shailaja Padindala, is a bold attempt to expose the ways in which social identities create compounding experiences of discrimination from a queer perspective.
The worker's day anthem, released on 1st may is protest rage at the powers responsible for growing intolerance and injustice that operate within our system. The song dissects the concurrent forms of oppression in society to understand the systemically woven link between these overlapping differentiations.
The song which got revealed a day prior to the announcement of assembly poll results in four states and a union territory in the country aspires to get through to the voters and make them re-evaluate their choices.
Leaving no room for emotional catharsis, Shailaja directly hits all the right points with a series of familiar, unglamorous realities. The lyrics explain, quite openly, how 'one's entire life is being torn apart by that system' while we dent our fingers voting them for decades.
Dancing on the streets to the folk beats flaunting in a 'lungi', she also seeks to re-understand the "ITEM" number in Indian Cinema. The pace and energy in her music transport the audience and illuminates them about the socioeconomic, racial, ethnic, and gender separations in everyday life.
The chorus (Decades of voting.. voting.. voting has only dent the finger) echoes in our heads and slowly gets absorbed into the minds as a call for liberation. Children across age groups are out in the streets tickling, jiggling and repeating her words in optimism.
The song is produced by Harini Daddala under the banner of JLT films in association with Mustache Under my Nose Ring. Two Bombay based Independent women cinematographers Komal Khiani and Chehek Bilgi have shot the video which is edited by Finn George Varghese from Kochi.
Shailaja Padindala's previous work, Memories of a Machine, featuring actress Kani Kusruti had created quite a sensation on the internet when it got released in 2016. The short film, captured in a home video style discusses sexuality and how society views it. Though the audience gave a divided opinion to the film, it bagged several awards including the best film in Paris short film competition.
"Many artists in the industry including kannada film star Upendra has watched the song and mentioned appreciation.I'm looking forward for more dialogues and discussions on the project" said Shailaja Padindala.