Manoj Muntashir Shukla is a lyricist and poet. He writes songs for Bollywood films. Few of his patriotic songs have been appreciated lately. Shukla has been given the National Film Award for his lyrics ‘Main Parinda Kyun Banoon’ written in the film Saina, based on the life of badminton player Saina Nehwal.
Shukla is a full-time promoter of Hindu far-right propaganda. Through his YouTube videos and public addresses, he regularly evokes Islamophobia and promotes anti-Muslim sentiments.
He is endorsed by the ruling BJP and the Hindu supremacist ecosystem for his commitment to the idea of Hindutva (an ideology or movement seeking to turn India into a Hindu nation). His journey from a songwriter who has been accused of plagiarism more than once to a celebrity lyricist is a story that speaks for itself.
Shukla, a caste chauvinist, calls himself a Brahman ( considered the highest in the caste hierarchy) and a proud Sanatani Hindu.
He uploaded on his YouTube channel a video titled ‘Mai Brahmana Hun’ ( I am Brahmana) and asserted his caste superiority. He said, “the walls of Jawaharlal Nehru University asked Brahmans to leave India, we have two options, first, we can ignore the writing on the wall, and second, we can assert our identity. If I ignore them like we did in Kashmir, it won’t take too long and Delhi will become Kashmir. Being a Brahman, a Nationalist, and a Sanatani Hindu is my pride and honour.” Then he went on and explained the glorious genealogy of Brahmins.
In a series of his videos titled, ‘Aap kiske vanshaj hain?’ (whose offspring are you?) Shukla suggests that Mughals are the progenitor of Indian Muslims, while calling them ‘glorified dacoits,’ he questioned the legitimacy of Muslims in India.
He appropriates history and narrates cooked stories of Hindu valor and victories, intending to infuse pride and anti-Muslim sentiments among the Hindus. His YouTube channel is full of such bogus stories.
Despising secularism, Shukla says, “I openly say that I am a Hindu, I am a nationalist, that I am an Indian. I don’t feel any shame in these three things, I am proud of it and I tell, don’t I? I am not secular. I think secular is the most used and abused word. You are told that if you are not secular, you are a very bad person. I am not secular, I am not because the work of the government is to be secular”.
He has also supported the renaming of Indian cities and has asked Lucknow to be renamed as Lakhshmanpur after Hindu God Lakhshman. Since the BJP has come to power, Indian cities having seemingly Muslim names are being rapidly changed.
His social media accounts are stuffed with disinformation and propaganda videos.