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Fr. Biju Michael
Regional Councillor for South Asia





The Regional's Blog

By way of Sharing Ideas

Dear Confreres,
I was just thinking of the place socially conscious songs had in French Revolution and in any Revolution in the world.

They were simple and popular and yet powerful songs, easily singable by groups and large crowds, that contained seeds of social change - and thus got into the conscious and sub-conscious minds of people and made the gather and demand their rulers for right things.

We do so much of musical activity as Salesians - and we keep singing meaningless songs such as:
* Are you sleeping Brother John
* Surangani
* She�ll be coming down the mountain, etc.

Or we sing songs on Don Bosco and our other saints, which are good in themselves, but have limited scope within our congregation.

Why not bring together the best of talents among Salesians, our teachers and students or thinkers around the country, and create small, simple but powerful social songs, on themes of particular importance: Against Corruption, Alcoholism, Atrocities on women, child rights, etc - all causes that are dear to our charism and our hearts.

(By the Rivers of Babylon - was a powerful song, for example, that kept the hopes of Israel alive in Captivity!)

They should not be merely lamentations on such problems, but lyrics that call for action, ridicule those who perpetrate such crimes, etc.

We can popularize and sing them in our schools, boarding houses, parishes, SHGs, share them with other schools, colleges, prescribe them for family circles, items during public functions, street theatres, etc.

The Salesian Social Forum is eminently suited for this purpose. A nationwide or state-wide composition competition can be held to obtain the best songs, and musicians can be asked to set selected lyrics to music.

We can change the frivolous film song culture in our public functions and dance to these tunes that have meaning for the society.

Well, I am just throwing an idea, that is not new anyway. Several subaltern movements in India are already doing this. We can create some stir through this, and make them part of our campaigns. The celebration of DB�s bicentenary need not be only in singing his praises, but in bringing his heart and mind to the social causes.

Fr. Maria Arokiam