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Want to hear Dylan in Hindi? Try Protest Song Squad Parcham’s new album

Progressive music squad Parcham has brought together iconic protest songs of Faiz Ahmed Faiz, Bob Dylan and Cuban revolutionary Jose Marti, all in Hindi, in their latest album Soorat Badalni Chaahiye, saying the prevailing circumstances in the country demand them.  ‘We have been singing songs of the people, their problems and their struggles.

The current circumstances, the issues ranging from price rise, the land question and unemployment to the wars in various parts of the world demand such songs, such protest music and reflect the people's struggles against them,’ said Parcham's director Kajal Ghosh, a noted music director of the theatre world. Born in the early 1980s, the song squad has released four cassettes of over 40 revolutionary songs –
Aman ke Hum Rakhwale, Halla Bol, Jal Rahi Hai Zindagi
and one in the memory of noted theatre artiste Safdar Hashmi. The group's effort has been to carry forward the legacy of the Indian

People's Theatre Association [IPTA], especially in the Hindi-speaking areas. And that is why all their progressive and protest songs have been in Hindi, with their previous albums being received well and continuing to be in demand even today.

The latest album, titled Soorat Badalni Chaahiye, has an international flavour with seven of the eight songs translated collectively by Parcham into Hindi from Bengali, Spanish and English. All of them are well-known songs from the world over.

They include Bob Dylan's Blowin' in the Wind, Paul Robeson's Ol' Man River, the Cuban song authored by renowned revolutionary and nationalist Jose Marti, Guantanamera, Salil Chowdhury's Bhor ke rahi and Faiz Ahmed Faiz's famous Darbar-e-Watan. Ghosh cites Salil Chowdhury's song O Alor Potho Jatri from the latest album to describe why they felt it was right time to bring the album now.  

‘The song, written right after Independence, says 'Don't think you have reached your destination, it is still the night'. It is as true as it was in 1947. We won freedom but inequality and poverty continues even now. We translated that song in Hindi.’  

Parcham member Vijaya Venkataraman said ‘Over the years, these issues have not really gone away, they come back in different forms. These songs are internationally known and have been sung by people all over the world.’

Pick the album up if you want to try the twist.
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