No! No! Don’t Sing!

There was this famous story I believe Dada Kondake of Marathi Theater used to relate. A woman phones police station and complains that a man is roaming around naked in her neighborhood. This for some reason is a crime in our country. Promptly a policeman reaches the woman’s house and asks after the whereabouts of the offender. The woman guides him to a backstreet behind her house. She climbs on top of a cycle lying next to a wall, looks through a bathroom ventilator and points inside saying “here’s the man roaming around nude with no sense of decency”. The policeman tells her “Madam, if you go to so much trouble to look for obscenity, you will find it everywhere.”

Same story and advice is applicable to those who are trying to implicate Rapper Honey Singh for lyrics in some of his songs. For last two days Twitter has been abuzz with Honey Singh bashing. Now an IPS officer has gone ahead and lodged an FIR against Honey Singh. There was also an online petition making rounds for banning Honey Singh’s one performance in particular.

The thing with songs is, if you don’t like them, don’t listen to them. The specific songs of his that people are supposedly having problems with are not the songs that are available on any DVDs. These songs have undoubtedly very foul language. For that reason, they’re not being played by Radio or TV-stations either. The only way you could come across them is if you go searching for them in Youtube or some such site.

Now this is a queer way of getting offended. You hunt the song down, listen to it intently and then claim it offends you. Please go ahead and close the tab. But you want the singer reprimanded. For no sane reason. The worst part is that you are taking the discussion away from much more important points.

I have no qualms in saying that I have heard Honey Singh’s music and enjoyed quite a few of his songs. I will also grant you quite a lot of his songs do not picture women in too favorable a light. But why should that be a reason to ban his music? Are we banning everything that mentions women unfavorably? How many examples are you looking at? Let me go all Diwar-Amitabh-Bachchan on you and ask “pehle uss admi ka sign le ke aao”…

–          Are we banning all religious books? None of them, not one, are respectful of women. If women are not described as outright agents of devil, they’re described as men’s chattel. Where’s the PIL banning all religious books?

–          Are we banning all item numbers? Countless other songs objectifying women? How about excessively degenerate Bhojpuri songs?

–          Are we banning all Hindi movies? Where women are invariably either a second fiddle to a male lead or merely a pretty face with a few song and dance sequences. How about Banning Subhash Ghai movies where women are won like trophies at the end of sports contests? Remember Bike race in Hero or Kabaddi in Pardes? (I don’t want to start on Hollywood, but there’s an article on about how Hollywood treats females there. You should look it up.)

–          Are we going to ban all the books and all other art forms where women are treated less than honorably? And who’s going to be the judge of what is honorable and what’s not?

Are we so afraid of a two-bit rapper? Honey Singh is a minor fad just like tons of Punjabi singers who made it big for a year or two and then faded away in oblivion. Are we trying to address the disease or a mere symptom when we try to ban Honey Singh? Granted, Honey Singh is a symptom of the rot our societal values. But he’s a mere symptom. Focusing on him takes the attention away from really important place – our own minds.

There’re women that need to be armed. Children need to be rescued from the clutches of unscrupulous scum. There’re millions and billions of male homo sapience sapience to be converted in to human beings. We have to make safer – not only our streets but also our homes, hospitals, police stations, schools, colleges, buses, cars and day-care centers. There’re laws that need changing. Courts that need to move faster. Few more gang rape cases that need similar attention that one in Delhi received. There’s mind-set that needs changing. There’s this patriarchic culture that needs overhauling.

We’re facing all these giants that need to be conquered and we’re trying to silence a rapper? Are we looking for a placebo and not for a cure? Is this a quick-fix for our conscience to wash away the guilt and shame of Delhi rape? Do we need Honey Singh to be a scape-goat so we can go back to our happily indifferent ignorant blissful lives behind flat-screen TVs and multiple megabyte Wi-fi?

Do we seriously think filth in lyrics of a rapper our biggest problem? Here’s a song of his. There’s this one line that’s explicitly offensive to women. Go digging and let me know if you can find it. Meanwhile if you enjoy the music, don’t mention it.


About bforbihag
Poochhate hai wo ki Ghaalib kaun hai, Koi batlao ke hum batalaaye kya?

One Response to No! No! Don’t Sing!

  1. yogeshpatwari says:

    And then there were people like me who weren’t even aware of the song’s existence before this furore happened. So, in order for me to hate Honey Singh appropriately, should I google the song first and listen to it?

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