Punjabi singer and rapper Honey Singh encountered yet another sticky situation on Tuesday as Punjab and Haryana High Court ordered the Punjab government to take action against the 29-year-old singer for lurid lyrics, asking the society to ‘boycott such singers’.
As HT City speaks to his friends and foes from the industry, the common question that came to the fore was — is boycotting such singers really going to help?
Punjabi singer Raj Brar, whose song Chandigarh De Nazareya brought spotlight on Honey Singh as a rapper in the Punjabi music industry, says, “The decision of the court is right, since such lyrics are not appreciated in our culture. But, I’m finding it difficult to wrap my head around the things the court would have to boycott.
The internet, for example, is the source to everything; all such songs and so much more is available on the net. Is the court also going to boycott TV channels that air shows such as Comedy Circus, the content of which is almost always double meaning? I also believe that these debates and decisions are yet another way of fetching publicity – good or bad.”
Stating that the rapper’s immense popularity is backed by innumerable fans, music composer Sachin Ahuja says, “We have to agree that Honey Singh is the most popular pop singer of today. And, his fame is not limited to India. From parties to youngsters’ cars, his songs are heard almost everywhere.
In fact, YouTube is making a video on the world’s most famous pop singers, for which Honey Singh is representing India. Just the fact that he is popular has made him a target. Many singers have been coming out with vulgar songs; since they don’t gain as much popularity, they don’t come under the scanner. Boycotting the singer is not the solution. Law cannot be enforced on the public till they don’t want to restrain themselves from such forms of entertainment.”
Reiterating Ahuja’s argument, lyricist, writer and director Amardeep Gill says, “On YouTube, such songs have the maximum number of views. If the audience doesn’t like such songs, the singer won’t make them. More than the singer, listeners are at fault. How can you boycott a singer that the audience loves? Some years ago, a Punjabi singer called Bagga Safri crossed all limits of decency; his songs are still available on the internet.”
Aman Deol, general secretary, Istri Jagriti Manch, says, “Initially, when the issue was highlighted, the government didn’t come forward. The high court’s decision of boycotting such singers is a positive sign. The question, however, remains: how and where all are they going to boycott it? Making laws will not help, till they are implemented.”