YouTube, the world’s leading video sharing platform, has “removed” an Assamese video criticising the ongoing anti-Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) protests. The 3.5-minute video titled Nogno Desh was uploaded by the experimental musician from Assam, Axl Hazarika. The Assamese video song was removed barely 24 hours after it was uploaded.
Hazarika, who is the digital archive head of Jyoti Chitraban, Guwahati, received an email on February 26th, 2020 stated, “Our team has reviewed your content, and, unfortunately, we think it violates our violent or graphic content policy.” Apart from singing, Hazarika wrote the lyrics, composed, mixed, mastered and produced the song.
The email added, “We know that this might be disappointing, but it’s important to us that YouTube is a safe place for all. If content breaks our rules, we remove it. If you think we’ve made a mistake, you can appeal and we’ll take another look.” A copy of the email is available with Time8.
The email mentioned that “Content that contains violent or graphic footage posted in a sensational or exploitative manner is not allowed on YouTube. This includes footage, audio, or imagery involving war, accidents, medical procedures, or other such scenarios with the intent to shock or disgust viewers.”
Hazarika said, “It’s unfortunate that today everything is controlled by a set of big companies. They will decide what people should get to watch. The irony is that all the footages in the video are compiled from Youtube itself. It’s hard to understand the rules when hundreds of anti-CAA and anti-government videos are there on the platform. Why they manually banned my song is beyond logic.”
The CAA aims to grant citizenship to Hindu, Sikh, Jain, Parsi, Buddhist, and Christian refugees from Pakistan, Afghanistan, and Bangladesh who came to India on or before December 31st, 2014. The country is witnessing massive protests against the amended citizenship law since December last year.
Hazarika recently became the first and only Indian artist to rank in SoundCloud Top 10 Global Trance music charts and Billboard music charts. He is also credited with the first animation video – Hum Badal Gaye from Northeast India – officially certified and censored by the Central Board of Film Certification, India.
Also, his Assamese music video Goru Bihu Song has been selected to be officially screened at one of the largest international film festivals in Europe – 47th Sehsüchte in 2018.