Article 370, love jihad, and stereotypes about Muslim population growth are common themes, along with mentions of Shah Rukh Khan and his son Aryan Khan, as well as the other Khans.

H-Pop: The Secretive World of Hindutva Pop Stars, written by Kunal Purohit (second from right) was launched at The Foreign Correspondents Club | By special arrangement


New Delhi: Kanhaiya Mittal has gained fame in Uttar Pradesh for his song “Jo ram ko laaye hain, hum unko layenge.” The song glorifies the construction of the Ram Mandir. With a YouTube following of almost 3 million, Mittal has emerged as one of BJP’s most prominent campaigners, thanks to ‘Jo Ram ko…’. And now Mittal and others like him whose songs have given reach and popular voice to Right-wing politics are the subject of a book titled H-Pop: The Secretive World of Hindutva Pop Stars.

In 2022, when Yogi Adityanath secured his second term as UP chief minister, Mittal, originally from Chandigarh, was awarded a cash prize of Rs 51,000 by Yogi, writes journalist Kunal Purohit in the book. During the elections, his song became BJP’s unofficial campaign slogan. However, the singer promptly returned the prize, Purohit writes, expressing his desire to donate it back to the UP government. “Buy a new bulldozer with this donation,” he had said. The bulldozer has become emblematic of BJP’s aggressive political tactics, particularly in Uttar Pradesh.

Mittal is among the rising stars of Hindutva pop, a burgeoning form of popular culture in India that employs acerbic lyrics to celebrate the ideology’s narratives. And the genre is both lucrative and attractive, offering significant rewards.

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