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Kukiland: Tapta Roars

by Rinku Khumukcham
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Dear respected Editor/Readers,
Despite your hectic schedule you must have heard the song (Kukiland) by the legendary singer Tapta. L. Jayenta, lovingly known as Tapta has the uniqueness of writing, composing and singing most of his songs unlike other ‘bubble’ singers. I believe the recently released songs followed the same pattern. No doubt, Tapta and his dedicated team deserves a roaring applause.
My journey with Tapta started during my high school days along with other rowdy boys. In those days, none of us had a personal music player. However, we sang/hummed almost all the songs of ‘The Power of Attraction- Vol.1’, particularly during the school hours. As one friend starts the first line of ‘100 Bulb’, another corrects the tone of ‘Bomb Bomb’ and checks the wordings of ‘Sou Sou’. That is how we learned rock/fusion music in Manipur.
No musical artist has influenced me and the society like Oja Tapta till today in Manipur. He is at par with the global music legends. The only thing missing is due recognition and fame,that he deserves.
Though Tapta has a special connection with the youths of our society, he continues to draw inspiration from all walks of life and works of nature. His unique skill to understand the ‘simple’ and ‘normal’ equips him with the power to critique the highest authority: Governments, pseudo leaders, politicians, CSOs, and the society. The lyrics of “Natheebong” say it all. Equally, his songs console love birds, teenagers and many others.
As time passes by Tapta’s songs have become bolder and straight forward. This is where he consoles the most and creates enemies. In developed societies, artists are the voice of the voiceless and society’s conscience keeper. The songs of Bob Marley, Bob Dylan, Eminem continue to rock million hearts, for the simple reason that they spoke the truth without any sugar coating. In Manipur’s dire situation, the voices of the widows, orphans, helpless youths, displaced families, shattered dreams, crumbling society, indifferent politicians, and insensitive leaders collectively made Tapta to roar.
Kukiland has been uploaded on the web. In two days, I heard each songs almost ten times and longs to listen again even though the lyrics are engraved in my heart. I strongly believe that the lyrics and tone of Kukiland resonate the voice of the valley people in response to the atrocities committed by the Kukis. History reminds us that, whenever, an artist’s voice (across all genres) is suppressed, it gives more voice, popularity and acceptance. The controversy on BBC’s documentary on Narendra Modi, Taslima Nasrin’s books, and Salmah Rushdie’s life are living examples.
Fortunately, attempts to suppress the voice of Tapta, will only make him roar louder. To the surprise of us all, he is ready to bring out another volume(s) of Kukiland very soon and enthral us. Thank YOU, Zomi Students’ Federation, for making KUKILAND the Song of the Year. May all your efforts to suppress an artist’ voice and creativity help it become the Song of the Decade.
Sarangthem Romeo

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