To be candid, I like the tunes of current pop songs. Yes, I really do. But I also find it quite upsetting as to how much violence can effortlessly be concealed within a catchy tune. These aspects need to be comprehended and talked over in order to be altered. So, the next time you hear a new song, rather than just remembering the lyrics, really pay attention to them and evaluate them. You could be shocked at the outcome.
To further specify – I will break down some Haryanvi songs that I have come across and address how they portray women.
1) ‘Ghoonghat Ban’
This Haryanvi song by popular artist Ajay Hooda, along with singers Surender Romeo and Ruchika Jangid, clearly support the prevalent veil culture in Haryana. The language is abusive and the lyrics are quite problematic. The woman is showed asking her husband to put an end to ghoonghat culture – but he replies with extreme animosity and even violently threatens her should she try to uncover her face. The man even rebukes her for breaking the prevalent rules of his village. The video evidently glorifies male dominance and promotes veil culture, domestic violence and abusive relationships.
2) ‘Jail Karawegi’
Do I even have to explain this one? Basically, everything in this song is prompting an extensive sexualisation of the female body and not only that – but the man demands that the woman be overtly sexual. He’s holding the woman responsible should something happen to her and blames her for his ‘bad intentions’. The singer Vinu Gaur is simply asserting that the girl’s appearance ‘provokes’ the boys. He doesn’t even care for the girl’s consent. He’s very sufficiently aware of the consequences of his action. He knows that assaulting her will lead to his imprisonment but for that also he blames the girl. Unfortunately, even after this much toxicity, this song is one of the most popular one in Haryana.
3) Jaal Main Jo Fasgi Kabootri
The entire basis of this song is dehumanizing. The lyricist Rammehar Mehla is terrible with his words. He is literally referring to the woman as a creature the whole time. He uses words like “preying” and “hunting” to deconstruct women into something that is animalistic. He warns her about himself and his nature and also advises her regarding the repercussions if she fails to follow his directions. All these aspects depict a clearly dominant male figure with women reduced to ‘prey’.
Some Harvanvi songs even support domestic violence while singing eulogies for the glorification of patriarchy.
This song is a bit more complicated. But the song does objectify women. The lyrics are simply about lessening the worth of women and exhibits them as objects to fulfil male desires. For god’s sake, don’t even get me started on the music video!
5) Tu Cheez Lajawaab
This song also describes women as objects. This is the song that many street sexual harassers and stalkers in Haryana use to harass women.
The Haryanvi music industry is growing day by day when it comes to the use of new technologies, video editing and much more – but the need to be careful with choosing lyrics is still urgent and requires an immediate solution. The sexualisation of women, portraying them as objects, promotion of ghoonghat culture, etc, needs to be stopped. It’s not just the male artists who do this, but the sad part is that even the women singers play into stereotypical gender roles.
The lyrics are woven around women and their physical appearance and on the other hand, the videos show as if the men have absolute right over women and control them. Although all Haryanvi songs are not always about spreading obscenity and misogyny, a few of them have brought the whole industry a bad name.
The lyrics are woven around women and their physical appearance and on the other hand, the videos show as if the men have absolute right over women and control them.
Some Harvanvi songs even support domestic violence while singing eulogies for the glorification of patriarchy. There is a song called ‘Shopping’ where the woman wants to go shopping and keeps asking her husband for permission. The husband replies by threatening her to stay at home. In the video – the beginning of the song comprises two people talking about the ‘Khandani Lath’ – which means a hereditary aspect used for the purpose of beating wives. This stalwart for domestic violence has around 9 million views on YouTube and is one of the most popular songs among youngsters.
These songs create a cultural fabric wherein it normalises the subjugation of women, women’s sole purpose in being a passive object of desire for men and name-calling women where they are objectified and compared to ‘bomb’. If all of that is not enough, we have songs that indulge in and promote stalking and body shaming. A common thread in all of them is the utter disregard for consent. On the surface level and in music videos – these acts might appear fun or romantic to someone but not asking for a girl’s consent, calling her names on the basis of her physical appearance and stalking her is not cute at all in fact, it’s downright abusive and criminal.
Featured image used for representative purpose only. Image source: Medium