Its Not A Joke…

December 23, 2012 at 9:15 PMDec (Activism, Cinema, Friends, Media, Music, Musings, Slice Of Life, Soliloquy)

A friend shared an article last evening. It was on Honey Singh’s song ‘Balatkaari’. Out of curiosity I searched for the song on youtube and listened to it. What is shocking is the comments, which celebrates the song and the singer, while the song celebrate rape!

The article goes on to say that Honey Singh tops the 2012 Youtube views and has over 16 lakh social networking fans.

Couple of months ago, a renowned artist came to our campus to conduct a workshop. I have always admired this person not just for his ability as an actor and writer but also for his politics. On the last night of his stay on campus he sat with students, drinking, and on popular demand started singing. I was informed, by a friend, that the man had started singing and i went running. After a couple of popular political songs the man started singing some of his unknown songs. The text- or wording- was highly sexist and all images below the belt! It was a shock. To my surprise the people around him- all students- were enjoying it. They demanded more and with more demand came more supply. If not as vulgar as ‘balaatkaari’ the images, metaphors all were extremely objectionable as they were making direct references to female body organs in a demeaning manner. Boys and girls were enjoying it and asking for more of such songs and the man who I admired continued singing songs of the same kind on popular demand. Some of them, who had come to listen to him, like me, did walk off feeling disgusted. But the larger mass asked for more.

This morning a Kannda newspaper carried a so called ‘joke’ which reads like this:

“One Pachcha raped a girl and when found guilty he was made to pay a fine of Rs. 10,800/-.

Pachcha: Why 10,800/-?

Judge: Rs. 10,000/- for raping and Rs. 800/- entertainment tax.”

If you subscribe to ‘jokes’ of any mobile network and 90% of the jokes that you would get on a daily basis would be racist and sexist.

There is demand hence the supply or the other way round, I am not sure. But there is a good number of people who enjoy it. Defines the psyche at large I guess. In that sense I feel Honey Singh and this man who I used to admire are just the expressions. The problem lies, it appears, not just in them.

When the film 3-Idiots hit the theaters dint we all enjoy the scene where Chatur’s speech is changed and “balaatkaar” became a joke? How did we come to accept that it was ok to make ‘rape’- such a serious thing- a matter to laugh at? How could words like ‘behan-c**d’ and ‘madar-ch**’ become normalized in our daily lives?

The article on Honey Singh suspects that some of those who liked the song on Youtube and who listen to it daily, turning the volume high, might be among the crowd who are now protesting against the Delhi gang-rape.

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