Chandigarh stalking: Punjabi songs reflect ‘guns and glory’ of Geri Route
“Such songs with bad content have great influence on society, especially on youngsters. The need of the hour is surveillance by the government, which should at least monitor the content of songs being aired on TV and radio.”punjab Updated: Aug 10, 2017 22:29 IST
CITCO ’ch vajjdiyan daily geriyaan, PCR dardi na paave feriyaan; (We roam around the CITCO Sector area daily, but cops are too scared to say anything),
langh jande maame paasa vatt k, kehnde, asla mandeer chakki firdi, (The cops pass by, turning a blind eye, as the boys carry weapons)
Chandigarh Police mitron, pindan aale mundeya ton akki firdi.”
(Chandigarh Police, my friends, is sick of the boys from villages).
These are lyrics of a Punjabi song that has over 5 million hits on YouTube. Describing Chandigarh as a haven for boys “who want to have fun”, another song states that the boys from villages have been spoilt by the city, and they drive on the Geri Route with open jeeps.
Derogatory references to girls and women in such Punjabi songs are common. There is another example, of a song in which the singer/songwriter tells a girl about “leaking her secrets”. While all these songs are sung by male artists, a recent one by a female singer has the girl inviting the boy to come to her street in a black car as she is waiting with his photo in her hand outside her home.
One of the most popular Punjabi singers, Jazzy B, touched a new low in the music industry when he sang, “Jinne vich balliye tu sari sajdi, ohne ’ch taan mitran de boot aaunde aa.” It tells the woman that as much as you spend on looking good, “I spend on my boots alone.”
Videos of most such Punjabi songs show the men as ruffians and bullies out on the streets. Projection of violence and gang wars has also become a common feature. Showing women in poor light and questioning their “character” is a main trait. Honey Singh was an early proponent of this wave in the pop era, but he has many predecessors and many followers.
Gurbhajan Singh Gill , a punjabi poet and chairman of International Punjabi Lok Virasat Akademi, comments, “Such songs with bad content have great influence on society, especially on youngsters. The need of the hour is surveillance by the government, which should at least monitor the content of songs being aired on TV and radio. There are good singers and writers in the industry but the production companies don’t find them profitable, which is very disappointing.”
Lyricist Shamsher Sandhu adds, “ Vulgar content in Punjabi songs is not new. We only talk about the issue and do nothing about it in practical terms. The level of songs coming out for the past six to seven years has been drastically bad. Channels airing the content should adopt a screening system at their level.”