Popular Nepalese rapper Samir Ghising, known as VTEN, has been arrested over one of his songs.
He faced a court hearing after his arrest yesterday and will be in police custody for seven days.
Senior Superintendent of Police Sahakul Thapa of the Metropolitan Police Crime Division told The Himalayan Times that VTEN was arrested for the song “Hami Yestai ta ho ni Bro,” which authorities deemed to be too profane.
According to Genius, the lyrics of the song are about VTEN’s wealthy lifestyle and a critique of haters that are jealous of it.
VTEN is one of the pioneers of Nepal’s growing hip-hop scene.
“We are here for the culture and we do want our art to be appreciated. I hope in coming days, people realise that we don’t just rap because we have nothing to do, we rap because it’s everything to us,” VTEN told VICE in a February feature.
Nepal is one of the poorest nations in the world, and hip-hop is a way for its youth to discuss social and political issues that affect them.
VTEN was also accused of posting a photo on social media dressed as a police officer while smoking marijuana. Authorities said this spread a negative message and was a derogatory portrayal of the police.
This is the second time this month that a Nepalese artist was arrested for his lyrics. On Tuesday, police arrested musician Durgesh Thapa for allegedly promoting narcotics in his song “Happy Tihar, Chiso Beer.”
A complaint was filed against the song for its lyrics and the artist deleted the music video after the police told him to do so. Tihar, also known as Diwali, is a religious holiday. The song's lyrics are about drinking during the festivities.
After Durgesh's arrest, the Home Ministry warned against others making similar music.
“The police are responsible for peace and security in society and we want to make sure that no one is damaging the religious, cultural or traditional harmony of society,” Nepal Police spokesperson Deputy Inspector General Bishwaraj Pokharel told the Kathmandu Post.