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HindustanTimes Fri,28 Nov 2014

Culture vulture

Rajesh Moudgil, Hindustan Times   January 05, 2013
First Published: 12:01 IST(5/1/2013) | Last Updated: 16:25 IST(5/1/2013)

I regret writing this, for I fear it might only play up what we should despise. Nevertheless.


This is about the recent move of the Punjab government to have own censor board to check vulgarity spewed by singers (can or should we call him one?) such as Honey Singh.

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Of the music buffs I know, most have heard him and regretted it; some have not even heard his name; and the rest (me inclusive), are familiar with his name, yes, but songs, no. Yet, all seem to have statistics from one tube or the other to quote what was his claim (or blame) to the (dis)reputation of becoming from a yo-yo to a no-no singer (singer?).

"How sad that one with a such a sweet name spit so much venom in the listeners' ears," is one opinion, while another is that "the trend had long started in Punjab, with the only difference being that the earlier masters of this despicable craft had limited mediums to reach their audience".

A debate of this sort at a time when there are real good and popular singers such as Gurdas Maan, Waris brothers, and Satinder Sartaj, who had all the way maintained their judgement of lyrics and compositions. "It's a sin to even mention these quality artistes in the same breath as the ilk of this … (muttering) culture vulture," said a music enthusiast.

Some of us wondered if this singer belonged indeed to the category of ones who were always there, waiting greedily for the death of a culture and then feasting on its rotting, dead body.

But who made culture rot and die: the supplier or the buyer? A drug peddler also just goes about his job and earns from what he supplies and for what there is demand, with scant concern for what it does to the seeker. Likewise, these self-styled singers (singers?) earn by delivering what is sought. In one case, it is the culture that rots and gets putrid, and in the other, it's the person taking it. If one is a crime, why isn't the other?

The writer can be reached at rajesh.moudgil@hindustantimes.com

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