We Gotta Take The Power Back

When I first heard Rage Against The Machine (their album Evil Empire), I instantly loved the band because of the kind of music they played. I did not know about the band’s history, political beliefs of the members, the lyrics – it was simply a powerful music full of rage and conviction – a fusion of rap, funk and metal with aggression.

For more on RATM, visit the band’s wiki page or their official website. Also, please go through the “Political Views and Activism” section of the wiki page.

RATM expressed their political belief and stance through the lyrics, which are written by the vocalist Zach de la Rocha. This article is my attempt to find the relevance of his “strong left winged, anti-US inspired lyrics” of the song “We gotta take the power back” to the present situation of our country. (Full Lyrics)


In the right light, study becomes insight
But the system that dissed us
Teaches us to read and write
So called facts are fraud
They want us to allege and pledge
And bow down to their god

How many a times have the government (the current interim government or all the previous governments) forced feed us wrong information and in turn presented themselves as the lords who gave power to the people?

Numerous times! The same system which was/is set up to protect the people, to keep things in order has in countless instances acted as the criminal itself – betrayers, killers, whores selling the Nation’s resources. These power hungry ones have never looked beyond their own self interests and shrewd means of gaining money and power. And they are the elite, they are the powerful and they and their allegiances are the GOD now.

Lost the culture, the culture lost
Spun our minds and through time
Ignorance has taken over
Yo, we gotta take the power back!

Ethnic people and indigenous nationalities have been suppressed for hundreds of years by the ones who have been in the power. Be it the Shahs, the Ranas, the Koiralas, the Panchyes, or the initiators of the New Nepal. So many cultures have been lost, ignored or been invaded. Now they want their voices be heard, right way, wrong way or in any way.

The present curriculum
I put my fist in ‘em
Eurocentric every last one of ‘em
See right through the red, white and blue disguise
Cause holes in our spirit causing tears and fears
One-sided stories for years and years and years

We too have our education system in a dire strait. It has been a complete failure on every account. Just like Zach points out the flaw in American education as “Eurocentric”, our education system has also been focused on the “West”. And we too have developed our habit of perception and opinion through “the red, white and blue disguise” – the American capitalist way! America is always right – its propaganda (Iraq invasion for example) is always right, its side of the story is always right.

The teacher stands in front of the class
But the lesson plan he can’t recall
The student’s eyes don’t perceive the lies
Bouncing off every fucking wall
His composure is well kept
I guess he fears playing the fool
The complacent students sit and listen to some of that
Bullshit that he learned in school

Zach has a suggestion, which is not that bad at all.

The rage is relentless
We need a movement with a quickness
You are the witness of change
And to counteract
We gotta take the power back

With lecture I puncture the structure of lies
Installed in our minds and attempting
To hold us back
We’ve got to take it back

I’m inferior? Who’s inferior?
Yea, we need to check the interior
Of the system that cares about only one culture
And that is why
We gotta take the power back

Why is it necessary to react NOW?

Cause the circle of hatred continues unless we react
We gotta take the power back

This has to end. There’s no denying that, at present, the hatred among the people of Terai (Madhesh) against the people of hills (especially Bahuns, Chettris and Newars), which was suppressed in some way or the other, has now erupted in the form of retaliation and violence. Years of repression, years of insults, have now taken the most deadly forms – kidnapping, murders and wide spread terror and chaos (1).

The looming question which has engulfed the whole Nepal right now is – will the SPA and M be able to hold the Constituent Assembly Election, scheduled for Chaitra 28 (April 10, 2008)?

If yes, OK – we might start dream of a “New” Nepal.

But, what if the answer is – NO!

The chances of “NO!” seems to be more with more and more leaders and armed outfits of Terai(2) declaring that they won’t let the CA elections happen. They are also stating of having a new “Singha Durbar” in Terai.

How can this circle of hatred be trampled and the nation can move forward in peace towards prosperity?

It is so lame, that I am here typing out these words, listening to RATM, sipping tea. Outside, it’s a Valley Bandha today. People have gathered on main roads and chowks and corners – shouting, burning tyres, vandalizing vehicles – protesting against the government’s decision to raise the price of cooking gas, diesel and kerosene oil. It’s a very cold and hazy day, wind through the window so chill that my fingers are almost numb. I feel so lame, I feel so worthless.

My “rage” is limited to this keyboard, my “movement” stuck on this chair. But indeed, we gotta take the power back!


1 – Let’s rule out the possibility of any external force manipulating the fragile situation of the nation – let’s forget that.

2- Lately, it’s been reported that there are almost 24 different armed outfits in Terai – Janatantri Terai Mukti Morcha, of Goit and Jwala Singh, Terai Army, Terai Cobra and the list goes on. Their key demand is a separate state of Terai, an autonomous one.


One Response to We Gotta Take The Power Back

  1. speed says:

    De La Roach is my idol ……… I was so much happy when RATM was again unified
    Though they are the most polotically sucessful band ever ………. I appericate their music since i am also into Rapcore …………… Their Killing in the name is also great …….. Maybe you get the vedio if you search on youtube ……….

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