The recent video of 11-year-olds hurling abuses in school has raised questions on use of offensive language in Bollywood, and turned the spotlight on those who’re making an effort to stop that. A bunch of Bollywood musicians, for instance, are taking the lead by saying no to lewd lyrics.
“After Tum hi ho Bandhu, became famous, I got offers to sing all sort of songs. Even Himesh Reshamiyaji sent Hookah Bar, I said no,” says Sufi singer Kavita Seth.
Punjabi icon Daler Mehndi has also sharply criticised offensive lyrics: “I feel ashamed to hear songs that have indecent slangs. They should be banned.” Singer Kumar Sanu has gone a step ahead to say, “Some of these songs have very cheap lyrics, and are responsible for the increase in crime rate in our country. Kya deke jaa rahe hain hum unhe (next generation), Lungi Dance or Chikni Chameli?”
Then, there is Jasbir Jassi, who is planning to move court, “I was sitting with someone from a renowned music label and listening to Party All Night (from Boss) — they wanted me to create such songs. Then they told me about a word I’d missed (referring to a derogatory word used referring to derriere). I was shocked. I am planning to file a petition against such vulgar words in songs.”
Lyricist Irshad Kamil, who has penned songs for Rockstar and Highway, also laments the death of lyrical quality. “Where is the poetry? It’s gimmickry,” he says.
However, rapper Yo Yo Honey Singh, infamous for his lewd lyrics, defends the trend. “These songs are being made for the youth, and the words used are very common in casual conversations, even if a little harsh.
That’s why they are popular.” However, acclaimed singer Kailash Kher cuts his argument with a strong point. “Someone told me that a pornstar beat Amitabh Bachchan in a Google search result. Does that mean porn should be made mainstream?”