In a Delhi seething with anger after the notorious riots of 1984, Parcham, a popular group of singers went around the city with a brave message of peace. Sumangala, the young singer who stood in the forefront was to become one among the many voices of protest in the nation. Sumangala Damodaran, the granddaughter of E M S Namboodiripad is a well-known musician and economist based in Delhi. For her, music is a weapon of protest and she gained strength as a revolutionary singer after being part of Parcham and for her, the age long tradition of popular music of the Indian People Theatre Association (IPTA) too remains the most inspiring one. Currently, she is teaching Economics, Development Studies and Popular Music Studies at Ambedkar University and is also part of a project entitled ‘Insurrections’, a collaboration with South African musicians and poets. She is also doing research on the relation between music and migration, especially, the migration of women under slavery and servitude.
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