Punjabi singer and rapper Honey Singh has been witness to many an ire, of activists and citizens alike, thanks to his ‘infamous’ lyrics. The morning of Thursday brought almost no relief for the singer as the Punjab and Haryana high court refused to interfere in the case against him, which was filed by the NGO, Help, in May 2013.
Honey was booked at the Nawanshahr police station under Section 294 (obscene acts and songs to the annoyance of the others in public place) of the Indian Penal Code (IPC).
In Chandigarh to share his reaction, he says, “The court observed that I may resort to appropriate remedy, if any. It also disposed of the PIL (public interest litigation) filed against my songs after it said that it is for the state governments to decide whether or not they should set up some authority for the screening of songs before their release. I went through a very depressing stage, but now, I can focus on attaining my dreams again.”
The past six months we’ve seen you knee-deep in controversies, are things looking up yet?
“I am the same person I was back then. People don’t know me. My videos project a Honey who does not exist. Honey, in real life, does not party or indulge in alcohol. I also don’t find anything wrong with my lyrics; I only write about what is happening in the society.”
Isn’t there a way to project your ‘reality’ softly?
“Hindi songs like Kabhi Kabhi also have lyrics like Suhaag raat hai, ghoonghat utha raha hoon main. Simat rahi hai tu sharma ke apni baahon mein — isn’t that double meaning? I don’t want to name them but people in Hindi and Punjabi music industry have been singing double meaning songs.”
Your lyrics are targeted towards women. Many are furious…
“Just a few are furious. As a matter of fact, majority of my fans are girls.”
You have always been one of those who have benefited from negative publicity. How has the silence, ever since the PIL, worked out for you?
“It has made me stronger. I am a 30-year-old who struggled for 12 years before attaining fame. In these months, my silence helped me make 50 more songs. I managed to meet some legends such as Gurdas Maan too.”
You claim that the song, Mai Hoon Balatkari, wasn’t posted by you on YouTube?
“No, it wasn’t. YouTube is a public domain, like a parking lot — anyone can post anything there. We have submitted all required documents, and sent numerous letters to the authorities, to get the song off the site.”
And your future plans?
“I want to be a legend. I have been dreaming about being a part of the Grammy awards for 15 years. I have not achieved even five percent of what I set out for. Next, I am working on an international Punjabi song and a big banner Hindi film.”