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Pune Singer-Songwriter’s Track on Narendra Modi Removed from Streaming After User Complaint

The politically-charged album ‘Aaj Ke Naam’ by Deepak Peace, which features a song called ‘Hey Mr. Prime Minister’ was taken off JioSaavn two months ago

Rolling Stone India
Rolling Stone India Dec 24, 2018

Pune singer-songwriter Deepak Peace's album cover for 'Aaj Ke Naam.' Photo: courtesy of the artist

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After more than a year of its release, Pune-based singer-songwriter Deepak Peace’s 2017 album Aaj Ke Naam was found to be removed from streaming platform JioSaavn. Deepak wrote on social media that his 13-track album was removed entirely from catalogs a few months ago.

When he wrote to his distributor OKListen about his album missing from JioSaavn, Deepak received a screenshot showing an anonymous user complaint against the song “Hey Mr. Prime Minister,” calling it an “utterly disrespectful song with obscene lyrics targeting Modi ji.” The die-hard followers of Indian prime minister Narendra Modi, who receives regular mention on Deepak’s protest folk songs on Aaj Ke Naam, seem to have taken offense to lyrics targeting Modi’s vanity and unkept election promises.

Deepak said in his post, “I am sure all are aware of troll culture who are opposing any different voice and freedom of expression. I was not expecting Saavn to take such a drastic step based on such anonymous comments on a struggling independent musician like me without even letting me know.” While the user complaint was specifically towards one track, Deepak questioned why the entire album had been removed. The track and album is available to stream on other widely used platforms such as Apple Music, Spotify and Gaana.

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In a statement responding to the removal of Deepak’s music, JioSaavn said: “Certain content is taken off when there is a request to take it down from the label or based on listener feedback. In this case, it was the latter. At a company level, we do not censor content sent to us by artists, aggregators or labels. The whole album got taken down by the system erroneously. The album will be live shortly barring the song that was flagged down by user feedback.”

While Aaj Ke Naam is back up and streaming on the platform, “Hey Mr. Prime Minister” remains unavailable to stream in all regions on JioSaavn. For his part, Deepak ends his post by saying he will continue writing and releasing music, just on another platform.

Hear “Hey Mr. Prime Minister” below. 

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