How do you sing to prison?
In some ways, it’s a question that will never be answered.
“The rules are different here,” says the singer and songwriter Shashank, a 25-year-old Mumbai-based musician who was jailed for nine months last year for singing “Happy Birthday”.
He told Al Jazeera that the prison’s rules were very different than those of a country house.
Singing in prison is not allowed, but Shashanks freedom to express himself is.
He was granted bail last year, but it is unclear whether he will be allowed to return to the UK until next month.’
It’s a nightmare’ Shashikas music career has been on the back burner since he was released from prison in 2016.
He has been working in various capacities for a music video company in London, as well as being a producer of the popular music programme, Sing-a-Laugh.
In the wake of the recent shooting of Oscar Pistorius, Shash was forced to cancel his music tour and was also barred from touring Australia and South Africa.
“I have not been able to do any touring since I was released,” he told Aljazeera.
“It’s an absolute nightmare.
I have to stay home.
It is a nightmare.
It’s like a nightmare.”
Shashak also said that he is being subjected to physical violence and verbal abuse.
“They hit me, they push me, and they touch me with their hands,” he said.
“People say I’m a traitor, they say I am a thief, but they never touch me.”
“I am a free man now, I am free to do what I want to do,” Shash, who was also awarded the BAFTA for his work, added.’
The rules for me are much different here’ Shastri has also been working as a musician in India, but said that his music was banned from entering the country.
“India has a very strict music law.
It does not allow us to perform,” he explained.
“In India, we can’t even perform in a public place like a concert hall or a stadium because of that law.”
He also said his music is not permitted inside a jail, though he admits that he has been forced to perform on a few occasions.
“Sometimes they will make me do music in the jail, but in most of the time, they just leave me alone,” he recalled.
I have no idea where I am’ Shams family, including his parents and his wife, are currently in hiding in the UK. “
When they get angry, they will hit me.”‘
I have no idea where I am’ Shams family, including his parents and his wife, are currently in hiding in the UK.
“My mother is not in India.
I don’t know where I’m going,” he continued.
“We are not allowed anywhere to go.”
But Shams has been able help his mother and other relatives, who are currently on a hunger strike in protest at the lack of food in prisons.
“There is no way I can leave them behind,” he added.
“At least I can show them that I am doing my best.”
Shams mother, Sukhwinder, who is also a singer and performer, also told Aljeeys that she has been given a lot of support from her family in India and the UK and is grateful for their help.
“This is what I do, so I am thankful,” she said.