Sheetal Sathe
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Sheetal Sathe

Sheetal Sathe is a folk singer, poet, and Dalit rights activist from Pune, Maharashtra, India. She rose to prominence within Maharashtra as one of the lead singers of the troupe Kabir Kala Manch in the mid-2000s.

In May 2011, a crackdown by the Anti-Terrorism Squad on musicians and poets accused of promoting Maoist or Naxalite ideology led to Sathe and other members of Kabir Kala Manch going into hiding.[1][2]

Sathe and her husband, Sachin Mali, also a member of Kabir Kala Manch, finally came out of hiding on 2 April 2013 at the Maharashtra Vidhan Bhavan in Mumbai, declaring it an act of saty?graha for free expression and not "surrender", while also maintaining their innocence of the charges leveled against them.[3][4] But in spite of her pregnancy, Sathe, along with her husband, were denied bail immediately and again on 4 June 2013 by the Mumbai Sessions Court.[5][6] Finally she was granted bail by the Bombay high court on 28 June 2013 on humanitarian grounds.[7]

Since 2007, documentary filmmaker Anand Patwardhan had filmed Kabir Kala Manch performances and interviewed Sathe extensively while gathering footage for Jai Bhim Comrade, a film about caste tensions and violence stemming from the police killings at Ramabai Nagar, Mumbai in 1997. Jai Bhim Comrade was finally released in 2011, according to Patwardhan, "so that people like Sheetal can come out in the open again and prove that they hadn't done anything wrong, anything more than speak up for the powerless".[8][9] The film, which was screened in colleges and universities around India, introduced Sathe's music and message to an audience outside Maharashtra.[]

Popular Works

  • Aye Bhaghat Singh Tu Zinda Hai Har Ek Lahu Kay Katray Main.


  1. ^ "Former FC girl student, now wanted for 'Maoist' links". Indian Express. 11 April 2012.
  2. ^ "The thin line between dissent and rebellion : Why is a radical Dalit cultural group and its members being persecuted in Maharashtra?". Tehelka. 20 April 2013.
  3. ^ "Two activists suspected to be naxals by ATS surrender near Vidhan Bhavan". Hindustan Times. 3 April 2013. Archived from the original on 7 November 2014.
  4. ^ "Democracy needs their song". The Hindu. 5 May 2013.
  5. ^ "Why is this woman still in jail?". Tehelka. 15 June 2013.
  6. ^ "Pregnant 'Maoist sympathiser' denied bail". Indian Express. 5 June 2013.
  7. ^ "HC grants bail to suspected Naxal Sheetal Sathe". DNA India. 28 June 2013.
  8. ^ "A film with a difference". The Hindu. 28 January 2012.
  9. ^ "A Song that will be Sung". Tehelka. 28 April 2012.

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Music Scenes