Missing For 48 Hours, Rapper MC Kode’s Friends Keep Hope Alive
His friends have searched for him in gurudwaras, night shelters and under flyovers.
After Delhi-based battle rapper 22-year-old MC Kode, whose name is Aditya Tiwari, posted stories hinting at taking his life, his friends continue to try and look for him by writing to Delhi Police officials and physically searching for him, The Quint has learnt.
Other than tagging Delhi Police in hundreds of tweets where his fans and friends requested Delhi Police to take action, his friends told us that a missing persons’ complaint had also been filed on 4 June but a FIR is yet to be registered.
Right before going missing, Kode put out the following message:
The message read: “I do not blame anyone for anything but myself. A relief from my own existence is gonna serve as a punishment that the entire country wanted.”
He posted that message after he was constantly being barraged with threats, abuse, complaints and bounties being placed on his head for being ‘Hinduphobic’ after a video of him from 2016 showed Kode making controversial remarks about the Mahabharata. Despite an apology by him, the hate just kept increasing.
“The video of him was when he was 17, then he started doing battle raps. He apologised for what he had said as well. Look at him for who he is as a whole right? More than anything people are rallying behind him as he helped them. When lockdown opened after the first wave he arranged open mic nights for new artists, he collaborates with multiple people and eventually unknown artists gained visibility because of him,” his friend Shodhan* said.
What is the Controversy About?
The controversy started on Instagram handles started sharing an older video of his. He had made comments about the Mahabharata, which angered the religious sentiments of people.
Considering the context Kode said it in it is important to understand that battle raps are generally places where personal and vicious attacks are made, that is the nature of the activity.
Reacting to the backlash, Kode uploaded on his Instagram story on 27 May:
“I’ve angered a lot of people and that anger is understood and I deeply regret my actions…Currently all my details have been leaked including my address and there is a mass movement of people calling for a mob lynch of me and my family…Also local goons have placed a price on my head too. I am deeply sorry and I request you to please forgive me and spare me and the people associated to me their life.”
He was so moved by the entire episode that he removed all his music from streaming platforms.
The hate did not stop.
How Did His Fans Try Looking for Him on Yamuna’s Banks?
In a WhatsApp group with people aged between 18 and 28 are about thirty people who are still hopeful about finding MC Kode. Not everyone in this group is from the performing arts background, most are just his friends and admirers.
“We made a group on 1 June, about thirty of us where we were discussing all the threats that he was getting. Kode was not a part of this group as he was in a bad mental space. He had gone underground due to the constant heckling, his near ones getting rape threats, an organisation he was working with withdrawing their contract and the several bounties placed on his dead by people who wished he was dead or arrested,” 22-year-old rapper Jagatveer*, who is a friend of Kode and a part of this group, told The Quint.
The constant threats of people wishing he is dead has been hard for Kode’s friends to deal with, to the point that they do not want to reveal their identities. All names in this story have been therefore changed to protect their safety and identity.
In this group, the people were discussing and researching laws and what they could do in all expected scenarios.
On 2 June, around 11 at night someone saw the story and posted it on the group.
“We saw the story and got scared, then tried to calm down collectively as it does not make sense to panic. We then quickly googled all the possible bridges on the Yamuna river, based on the hints in his post, and I and many like me left to find him right away,” another friend 25-year-old Sheena* said. They posted stories in what they call an un-coordinated effort.
Then updates from various bridges started trickling in.
“Not here, checked everywhere.” Such messages started coming one after the other, with no good news to date.
“All the areas were covered in the night itself and in some places the police did not allow us to come, like the Yamuna Ghat and an old iron bridge near Geeta colony, so we went there early in the morning on 3 June,” Jagatveer said.
The entire day on 3 June went with re-visiting places.
“While I checked the bridges at night, I went to gurudwaras close to ghats and rain baseras (night shelters) to see if someone like him had gone there, I checked under flyovers as well. Others were also doing the same, many many people were out the entire day,” Jagatveer said, adding that some might still be out.
The on 4 June after all attempts failed they started writing to the Delhi Police, Jagatveer said, “Our group is still active and we have been writing to the police. We had already tagged the Delhi Police handles in all our tweets but since we got no response, we did this. We are mailing police officials to take some action. Simultaneously we are still trying to protect him. We are trying to tell him that he is not like the video he has seen, he is more than that, we are trying to tell the people what he would do for us.”
Another friend Kaveri*, who is looking into trying to get a case registered so the police can search for him, rather than just them, said, “We are hoping we can find him as soon as possible as we do not want to lose a man who gave his entire youth to build this platform. At the moment we are trying to get police to search for him asap and also let the people on social media know who Kode really is.”
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