Standing up for equality

Amrita Prasad
Wednesday, 6 February 2019

Raftaar, who was in the city for MTV Roadies Real Heroes audition, spoke like a true roadie and a hero, on gender equality

Imagine if songs like Dhaakad, Baby Marvake Maanegi, Gall Goriye, Haseeno Ka Deewana, Sare Karo Dab, Tu Mera Bhai Nahin Hai  etc. didn’t have the familiar rap, would you still like the songs as much as you do with Raftaar’s rap in them? The answer is no! His raps add an interesting fun element to simple tracks and make them sound upbeat, young and, at times, edgy. The rapper, who will be seen as one of the gang leaders on MTV Roadies Real Hero, was in the city alongside ring master Rannvijay Singha, and other gang leaders — Prince Narula, Nikhil Chinapa and Sandeep Singh. The show also has Neha Dhupia as one of the gang leaders.
This is Raftaar’s second inning as the gang leader and he is super kicked about the show. “Roadies is all about pushing the boundaries and going beyond the comfort zone,” he says, adding  “When young contestants are in your gang, you have to make them reach the top spot, so there is a lot of responsibility. Even if you don’t want to fight for yourself, it is important for you to fight and stand up for your gang. The entire month is like a reset button for me from my music. I get to meet new people, listen to their stories and go through different experiences. All this probably helps me write better. I am finding a lot more stuff about the world through the show.” 

Raftaar says that this season, his plan is to be fair and square. He wishes that the best person wins. “It doesn’t matter what gang s/he is coming from but I will be glad if the person is from my gang,’’ says the former member of  Mafia Mundeer.

Raftaar can’t stop raving about the female power that he met during the auditions. “Hands down! The girls are way better. They are competing with the attitude that they are going to change ideologies and mindset of the people. Some of the  girls coming for auditions are such good boxers. I still can’t get over a particular girl who has such a mean left hook that if she hits a 6 feet tall man, he’ll fall on the ground. There are girls who are doing push ups on two fingers. No boy did this during the auditions. That’s how strong they are! This is the year of the ladies!” exclaims the Let’s Talk About Love singer.  His strategy for this year is choose the right person for the right task in order to win.
Raftaar says that he is a feminist, but feminism for him means equality. “I strongly feel that we all have to fight for equality and not for a top spot. There shouldn’t be any privileges  given to anybody because of one’s gender. If this happens in all the places, we all win,” he adds. 

The theme this year is Real Heroes and for Raftaar, anybody who does a selfless act or helps someone by going out of one’s way, s/he is a hero. 

“Most youngsters party, or spend time online trying to look cool, but real heroes are doing more meaningful things. They choose to live for others, help them and save lives. A 23-year-old girl who will be seen on the show, actually brought a man with a cardiac arrest, back to life.  Another girl from Gujarat who is just 21-year-old, has been running an NGO for the last six years and has 45 people working for her. I also run an NGO but I barely manage to get 40-80 puppies adopted, but this girl is successfully getting around 2000-3000 puppies adopted. When I see her, I feel like she is the Batman and I am Robin because my efforts is so negligible in front of hers,” he asserts. 
Raftaar is also a part of MTV Beat’s Swag On with Raftaar which offers viewers music coupled with unique conversation and candid segments around rap music, fan reactions, a take on trolls and a personal view on social issues and all that’s happening around. 

Aired on Saturdays and Sundays at  7-9 pm,  while one segment of the show sees Raftaar taking on social issues prevalent in the country in Mudde Ki Baat, the other segment, Trending Songs throws light on the top songs trending right now. The third segment will see him putting his creative expertise to good use with Rap-chits, wherein Raftaar raps instantly on a word thrown in by his fans. 

Raftaar says that for him, happiness is knowing and expressing yourself which results in him being trolled online. “I always get trolled for speaking my mind but I say things that are real and rampant in our country and society.  I don’t like to sit behind walls, I say things aloud and get bashed for it. But do I care? No! At the end of the day when I go to sleep, I am at peace because I haven’t lied to or cheated anybody. I’m who I’m and I’m going to die happily. But I do give back to the trolls. One of my videos which has gone viral on Tik Tok, I give them a befitting reply but people are losing it because I used profanity. Lekin agar gaali doge to milegi bhi na?” asks Raftaar.
Speaking about hip hop Raftaar says, he has been juggling between commercial music and hip hop but now he wants to focus more on the later. “Gully Boy is also releasing which is going to put the genre on the map — it shouldn’t be that only one guy (Divine) is working hard to popularise hip hop, we should work side by side to take hip hop ahead and make sure that it stays and doesn’t fade with time,” he adds.  

MTV Roadies Real Heroes will premiere on February 10 at 7 pm

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