• #GaanaRewrite: Patriarchal Bollywood Songs Set to Gender-Sensitive Tunes

    Sonali

    If you haven't cringed upon hearing a Bollywood song, then you need to get yourself enrolled in Gender Studies.

    Blatant patriarchy in Bollywood songs has been neglected by mainstream discourse. Attempt is being made by Akshara, a Mumbai based non-profit organisation, to change the status quo. This organisation, which works for gender equality, has started a campaign called #GaanaRewrite. They have chosen a few extremely popular and equally offensive Bollywood songs to rewrite them from women's perspective.

    If you haven't cringed upon hearing a Bollywood song, then you need to get yourself enrolled in Gender Studies. Bollywood songs are perfect examples of how both 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 by 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, listen to it carefully to grasp how gender insensitive it is. You may realise that the lyrics insult you as a human being irrespective of your gender. By replacing love with harassment, Bollywood is destroying a beautiful human emotion.

     


     

    Sonali is part of the editorial collective of Newsclick.

    Published here with the permission of Newsclick.

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