India is enraged against the recent Delhi gangrape. Most of the protesters demand a change of attitude towards women in our society. Even New Year celebrations were toned to the level of almost being muted.
Even as the country was gearing up for better law and order and safe
environment, an online petition filed against rapper Honey Singh sparked a different set of events. The petition was filed just hours before Punjabi rapper Honey Singh was scheduled to perform at Bristol Hotel, Gurgaon on the New Year eve. An FIR was also lodged against the rapper in Lucknow. The show was later cancelled.
Honey Singh said he had not authored the lyrics that are being attributed to him. When contacted Singh's manager Anup Kumar claimed that the Gurgaon show was cancelled not because of the protests but in solidarity with the Delhi gangrape victim. Kumar said, "We did not cancel the show because of this petition and FIR. We cancelled it in the wake of Delhi gangrape issue. This is not the first concert we are cancelling in Delhi after that horrific incident. We had also cancelled our much publicised December 25 event."
Bristol Hotel, however, disputed Honey Singh's version, saying it was the management and not Honey Singh, who decided to cancel the performance.
True or not, let us for once assume that Honey Singh has not penned down lyrics like Ajaa Teri C***. However, he has songs like Dope Shope, that speak of women's virginity, to his credit.
Shouldn't Honey Singh apologize and be condemned for such misogynistic lyrics and songs? Listen to the song and decide for yourself. But why this outrage against a single person? Honey Singh's songs like Aaja Teri C**** Maaron and Dope Shope are in the face lewd and offensive. Songs like Tu Cheez Badi Hai Mast Mast, Choli Ke Peeche Kya Hai and Chikni Chameli too have sexual overtones and objectify women.
Honey Singh has tweeted, "All this going on right now. They just needed an excuse and they've found one. CONGRATULATION!" He further said on Twitter, ""Before you blame me, blame the government for not taking action against the rapists in the first place! Don't use me as an excuse!"
"#HoneySinghIsInnocent - trend if you're with me! I've admitted that my past was a wrong choice, but now I deliver completely different music," he added on his Twitter wall a little later.
Campaigning against Honey Singh's show, Kalpana Mishra in her petition on Change.org says, "These pornographic lyrics are unacceptable and it is because of women hating sentiments like these that men think that it's fine to do what they did on that bus, that December night in Delhi. Let's put a stop to these subversive lyrics that infiltrate the minds of people who don't know better and who then justify to themselves the rightness of a crime that harms another human being, sometimes so severely that they lose their lives."
For almost a month now, everyone has been demanding better attitude towards women and so is Kalpana Mishra. Anti-women lyrics have become the fashion and trend of our age. In a country where the lady love was once a Chaudhavi Ka Chand (Chaudhavi ka Chand song in Chuadhavi Ka Chand), has now become Tandoori Chicken (Fevicol Se song in Dabangg). Instead of changing our own attitude and tastes, we have found a single person to dump all the blame upon.
We can ban Honey Singh's shows and his offensive lyrics by all means. However, a question remains that if Honey Singh's Facebook page has over 2 million likes and his shows are attended by hundreds of people, shouldn't their sensitivities be questioned as well? Are we targeting Honey Singh because he has used crass words instead of playing with the words while objectifying women?
Why are we okay with Tan Hai Kateela Par Iski Adaa Hai Shaitaani (lyrics from Kareena Kapoor's Halkat Jawani, Heroine) and Mai To Tandoori Murgi Hoon Yaar Gatka Le Saiyaan Alcohol Se, but not with Dope Shope.
Here is a look at a few songs that clearly have sexual overtones and objectify women.
Fevicol Se lyrics (Dabangg 2, 2012)
Mere photo o seene se yaar chipka le saiyaan fevicol se
Mai To Kab Se Hoon Ready Taiyaar Pataa Le Saiyaan Miss Call Se…….
Mai To Tandoori Murgi Hun Yaar Gatka Le Saiyaan Alcohol Se…..
(Rough translation: Stick my photo to your heart with fevicol, I have been always ready, woo me with a missed call my love; people call me 'salty butter' my youth is cutter I am Tandoori chicken, swallow me with alcohol)
Tu Cheez Badi Hai Mast Mast lyrics (Mohra, 1994)
Tu Cheez Badi hai Mast Mast
Nai Tujhko Koi Hosh Hosh Uspar Jowan Ka josh josh
Nahi Tera dosh dosh madhosh hai tu har waqt waqt…
(These can be roughly translated to: You are a delightful, intoxicating thing, You are intoxicated and overjoyed with your own youth but you are not to be blamed, it is your youth)
Sheila Ki Jawani lyrics (Tees Maar Khan, 2010)
I know you want it but you never gonna get it tere Haath kabhi na aani
Mane na mane koi duniya ye saari mere ishq ki hai deewani
Ab Dil Karta hai haule haule se mai to khud ko gale lagau
Kisi aur ki mujhko zarurat kya mai to khud se pyaar jataaun
My name is Sheila Sheila Ki Jawani
I'm too sexy for you Mai tere haath na aani
(A rough translation: I know you want it but you never gonna get it, you will get me; the whole world is crazy for my love but I feel like embracing myself; I do not need anyone else I love myself; My name is Sheila, Sheila's youth, I'm too sexy for you and you will never get me)
Choli Ke Peeche Kya Hai lyrics (Khalnayak, 1993)
Choli Ke Peeche Kya Hai Choli Ke Peeche, Chunri Ke Neeche Kya Hai
Choli Me Dil Hai Mera Chunri Me dil hai mera
ye dil mai dungi mere yaar ko pyaar ko…
These can be roughly translated into: What lies behind the blouse? What lies beneath the scarf (chunri); My heart lies behind the blouse, My heart lies beneath my scarf; I will give my heart to my friend, my love.)
Almost all of the top grosser movies nowadays have at least one song where women are clearly objectified and treated as sex objects - the item number. These are instances where not men, but women are calling themselves sex objects.
Is it because Honey Singh does not have a big name, as big as other Bollywood entities that he is being targeted? All top earning movies and top-rated heroines have worked in songs with sexist lyrics. Most of the songs became a rage because of their peppy beats. No one ever voiced opinions against say a Chikni Chameli, a Halkat Jawani or a Fevicol Se.
A 23-year-old woman was brutally gangraped and beaten up on December 16. The incident has woken up an entire nation to sit up and ask some uncomfortable questions about the system and society. Apart from the demand for strong and effective laws, the need of the hour is a drastic change in our mindsets.
When a video featuring scantily clad women sells more than others, then the problem lies solely not with the makers of the video but also with those making it popular. If Honey Singh should be criticized for his lyrics and misogynistic lyrics so should be his fans and the 2,738,013 people who like his Facebook page.
Following are a few tweets that echo the real problem:
Heartbreak Kid @TeenPsych: Honey Singh's lyrics provoke rapes? How about 'choli ke peeche kya he'?
Roasie Virq @RoasieA: After the fascination of the nation with Yo Yo Honey Singh am inspired to name one of my cats after him. Only he'll be trained not to rap.
Priti Gandhi @MrsGandhi: One things for sure, all this publicity is going to make Honey Singh even hotter property now!! YO!!
Vasav Dave @KauwaBiryani: Now instead running after other rapist n securing safety of women government is aftr Honey Singh for his lyrics and his mentality. #WhoCares
Neeraj Thakur @NeerajT4: Why the eff media had to bring up Honey Singh's case and hero-giri of an activist? Seems like anyone can be a Journalist? #StoneAge #India
The Brazen One @UberNitsy: Honey Singh is getting unnecessary importance. Forget him already! #WhatToDoIn2013
Trivia @anshulm7: Honey Singh's songs r offensive. OKAY. But the songs chikni chameli nd munni badnam r even worse. Why there is no outrage over these songs ?
Kunal Bajaj @kunalvbajaj: @indiantweeter: So.... MF Husain was a artist and Honey singh is a misogynist #wellplayed"
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