The other day my 10-year-old son was humming the latest chartbuster 'Main to superman' from a recent film when I reprimanded him. I am not allergic to film songs or averse to the idea of my little genius getting starry-eyed for the tinsel world. I also bear no grudge against both Superman and the superhero idolised in the song. In fact, I am an ardent fan of their silver screen outings. But I was in a fix as how to interpret the offensive lyrics in the fourth line. Fortunately, my son hasn't been raised on a staple diet of Punjabi profanities in spite of being born and brought up in the hinterland, thanks to my husband who never mouths a cuss word. In this case, ignorance was truly bliss for my son.
How do I explain to a child that the same social milieu that sanctifies the status of a mother and sister and venerates these relations unabashedly derogates their very existence in this appalling manner. In utter disdain, these words are used in the song to accentuate rowdiness and street-smartness of the main character. The lyricist and his depraved glossary optimally exploited the similarity of profanities in a diversity of dialects. Is that what they call mass appeal?
What an opportune time and a novel way to polish the vocabulary of the young generation when the entire country is struggling to fight the demon of heinous crimes against women. Gravity of the situation can be judged by the fact that even the Prime Minister had to address the issue from a national platform urging parents to be more vigilant of their sons' upbringing and conduct. And here we are, with kids singing their way to moral sunset. How can indecent words lead to dignified deeds?
I wonder is it really offensive or am I getting intolerant and jittery with age. After all, this doesn't qualify as an issue worth advocating when there are bigger ones clashing for a few moments of fame. We are blatantly displaying our religious extremism, striving hard to be God's advocate and saviour at once. We take pride in vandalising and rioting on the pretext of saving His grace or rather our shallow vanity. Why we as a society are intolerant and self-righteous in the matter of symbolic faith whereas we are ignorant and submissive when it comes to upholding the dignity of women, be in words or in deeds. I am sure the Almighty won't mind if we channelise our vigour and valour to combat crime against humanity rather than defending divinity. Anyhow, we can't please God by disrespecting his most pious creation. To begin with, I won't mind my son crooning around 'Main toh gentleman' and genuinely aspiring to be one. email@example.com
(The writer is a Ludhiana-based public relations consultant)