Song Critical of Jaroslaw Kaczynski Disappears from Music Chart
Being head of a national leadership seems super glamorous. But, it attracts both condemnation and commendations. The ability to focus on set goals, maturely handle criticism and promote the spirit of sportsmanship is one that is not so easy to come by.
Poland is awash with the news of a top performing work of art which was rated as the best, but all of a sudden became obsolete and might not enjoy airplay like before.
ABC News reported that a song which threw a supposed jibe at Polish’s ruling party leader, Jaroslaw Kaczynski, rose to the number one position of the music chart of a public radio station and then disappeared just 24 hours after.
The broadcaster in charge is now accused of censorship. The scandal, which has been a contentious issue among public affairs analysts in recent days, has led to a handful of persons resigning from the station, Radio Trojka, and also some music stars vowing to avoid listening to the radio station because of the incident.
Wojciech Mann, a broadcaster who resigned his appointment with Radio Trojka in March 2020, noted that the incident smarts of too much fear for President Kaczynski and the ruling political party.
Also another broadcaster who resigned his employment in protest at the weekend, Marcin Kydrynski, said he would not recognize the station anymore.
The song titled ‘Your Pain is better than Mine,” is by songwriter and singer, Kazik Staszewski, who goes by the stage name Kazik.
This incident has raised many questions about press freedom in Poland. Since winning the presidential election in 2015, Kaczynski’s political party has used the public media as a propaganda tool in violation of its mandate to be neutral. Within the past five years, Poland has dropped in the World Press Freedom Index from 18th to 62nd position.
Washington Post reports that the anger of the public is not directed at Kaczynski for ordering the displacement of the song from a listener-voted chart, and members of the government have also been quite sad about the incident.
The removal of the song from the listener-voted chart is seen as the kind of self-censorship that might have been orchestrated by over-ambitious elements in a system where democratic standards do not appear to be well-respected.
The Journal Times report that the lyrics of the rock song criticised the April 10 visit by Kaczynski to Warsaw’s Powazki Burial Ground that pissed off many Poles because members of the public were not allowed to access burial grounds in Poland because of the covid-19 pandemic.
April 10 was the 10th memorial of the plane accident in Russia in which his twin brother, President Lech Kaczynski, and over 90 others lost their lives.
During the visit, Kaczynski was driven in a limousine and surrounded by bodyguards as he entered the closed cemetery to visit his mother’s grave and pay a tribute to his brother and other crash victims.
The song does not specifically mention Kaczynski’s name, but it mentions limousines, bodyguards and a visit by one person alone to a cemetery the public is banned from accessing.
The hit music climbed up the chart and became number 1 song of the week on Friday by listeners. But by the following day, it had suddenly disappeared from the website.
Tomasz Kowalczewski , station director, explained the hit song was suddenly removed on account of obvious irregularities in voting.
But a Trojka journalist who pleaded anonymity this week, said that management of the radio station instructed him not to air the song.
Also, Miami Herald reports that the radio station in question has been in operation since the 1960’s. Under communism the radio station aired rock music geared at the youth and was given some privilege to be more independent than other censored media.
Kazik’s song is now in fourth place on the music chart and Culture Minister, Piotr Glinski, acknowledged he did not quite like the song as well as its removal from the music chart.
Glinski also said he believes the whole situation could be one that anti-government persons might like to leverage on to discredit the government.