Indian-born but UK-based rapper Hard Kaur defiantly challenged both Prime Minister Modi and Home Minister Shah “to come in the ring alone” and fight in response to the sedition case that the government recently filed against her for her anti-Hindutva comments, promptly resulting in her account’s suspension from Twitter shortly after she posted the video but nevertheless still going in viral by trending in India.
Almost all of India must have heard about about the Sikhs For Justice’s (SFJ) Referendum 2020 campaign for an independent Khalistan by now despite the best efforts of the self-proclaimed “world’s largest democracy” to censor any serious conversation about the movement after Indian-born but UK-based rapper Hard Kaur’s latest video just went viral and became one of the top Twitter trends in the country despite her account being suspended because of it. She defiantly challenged both Prime Minister Modi and Home Minister Shah “to come in the ring alone” and fight in response to the sedition case that the government recently filed against her for her anti-Hindutva comments, and she also took the opportunity to condemn the innumerable rape and death threats that the ModiMob of BJP trolls started incessantly sending to her, her family, and even her friends after reacting to the dog whistle that the state blew by taking her to court.
“The Forbidden Fruit”
Hard Kaur, channeling the spirit of strength and independence that runs through her genre, is standing up for herself by doing more than just making a provocative video, however, since she’s also taking her case to the UN. Not only that, but she declared that she’ll symbolically raise the Khalistani flag on India’s Independence Day later this week on 15 August and also promised to release an upcoming song in support of the Referendum 2020 campaign. Her actions represent the highest profile support that the Khalistan cause has hitherto received in both Western and Indian pop culture, but given that Big Tech companies are intimately connected to the Indian state and under its sway in order to receive access to the country’s massive market, it’s no surprise that Twitter promptly suspended her account after what she said. Even so, India Today reported that “Hard Kaur is one of the top trends on Twitter in India” by Tuesday afternoon.
The Crumbling Of India’s Anti-Khalistan Infowar Crusade
Just like that, India’s infowar crusade against Khalistan suddenly crumbled after the country’s citizens became aware of the referendum campaign from a source other than the government itself for what might be the first time ever for most them, which is important because they finally have the chance to hear the other side of the story after the government attempted to monopolize the conversation about this issue by falsely claiming that the SFJ and their legal advisor Gurpatwant Singh Pannun are “Pakistani-backed terrorists”. It also helped that practically every Indian media outlet of significance reported on her video, which almost all of them did with the intent of impugning her character by attempting to connect her to “terrorists”, though which inadvertently contributed to the footage going viral and trending on Twitter. The state’s now in a conundrum because its official (sedition charges) and unofficial (ModiMob threats) harassment against her has totally backfired.
The State’s Primary Sin
Instead of silencing the SFJ’s campaign, the Indian government and its media allies unwittingly amplified its message by making Hard Kaur the talk of the country. The rapper probably couldn’t have ever expected that this would happen, but that just goes to show how unpredictable the strategic dynamics are whenever a state tries to suppress a democratic movement in the age of social media. The Indian government presumably panicked once she started speaking out in favor of Khalistan and then decided to put immense pressure on her to self-censor after fearing that she could popularize this movement even more than it already is by virtue of celebrity status, though that just provoked Hard Kaur to dig in her heels and push back against this intimidation campaign with all her might. The viral video that she released was the result of the death and rape threats that the ModiMob wouldn’t stop issuing to her after the government proceeded with filing its sedition charges.
“For Every Action, There Is An Equal And Opposite Reaction”
In hindsight, the Indian government should have just left Hard Kaur alone and let her speak as freely about the SFJ’s Referendum 2020 campaign as she’d like, but they instead catapulted her into being the latest icon for free speech and democracy in the world by actively trying to silence her. The resultant sedition charges served to inspire the ModiMob to take matters into their own hands in the hope that she’ll mentally collapse after being subjected to disgusting threats directed against her and her loved ones, but that bullying only motivated her to respond with her viral video, which in turn caused India’s infowar crusade against Khalistan to crumble. Going forward, it can be expected that Hard Kaur will continue dedicating more of her time to the Khalistani cause and being the voice of the Sikh community that’s increasingly coming under threat from the Indian government, with her high-profile activism being a nightmare come true for New Delhi.
DISCLAIMER: The author writes for this publication in a private capacity which is unrepresentative of anyoneor any organization except for his own personal views. Nothing written by the author should ever be conflated with the editorial views or official positions of any other media outlet or institution.