Blatant patriarchy in Bollywood songs, has been neglected by mainstream discourse. But now there are attempts to change the status quo. Akshara, a Mumbai based non-profit, which works for gender equality, has started a campaign called #GaanaRewrite. They have chosen some extremely popular and equally offensive Bollywood songs and have rewritten them from the perspective of women.
If you have never cringed after hearing a Bollywood song, then you need to get yourself enrolled in Gender Studies 101. Bollywood songs are the perfect example of how men and women are socially engineered to not consider women as equals. These songs effectively use language as a tool to show women their “place in society”. Over the years Bollywood songs have celebrated stalking, harassment, and even molestation of women. This has made these criminal activities socially acceptable means of expressing their love. This is evident in songs like ‘tu cheez badi hai mast mast’, ‘tu haan kar ya na kar, tu hai meri kiran’, ‘tera pichha na main choodunga soniye’ and many, many more.
Bollywood movies have made a business out of selling patriarchal norms. They have made them popular and thus acceptable. So, when the “hero” is singing and stalking his “would-be lover”, it’s never seen as a matter of invasion of privacy or violation of law. It is portrayed as a matter of time before she gives her “consent”. Bollywood doesn’t believe in ‘no’ means ‘no’, but strongly propagates ‘hansee toh phansee’ which literally translates into ‘if she smiles, she is trapped’.
So, next time you hear an anti-women Bollywood song, really listen to it and you may realise that the lyrics insult you as a human being irrespective of your gender. Because by replacing love with harassment they are destroying what is meant to be a very human emotion.
Courtesy: Akshara Center
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