Bollywood’s obsession with derogatory item songs
Munni’s badnaami has absolutely nothing to do with the plot neither did Sheila ki jawaani add a turning point to the story. Item numbers are very much a part of Indian cinema and continue to be so even after decades. The lyrics are demeaning with a nice tune and beat, but repulsive words wrapped in a shiny cover hardly makes the entire thing tolerable.
Here are some of the most misogynistic songs Bollywood has ever made:
1. Fevicol se
Main toh tandoori, main toh tandoori murgi hoon yaar
Gatkale saiyan alcohol se
Dabangg 2 had Kareena Kapoor lip syncing to songs with bare-waist thumkas, that can make the best of the worst cringe. When women empowerment remains a big social issue in India, this song wants us to believe that women are tandoori chicken ready to be enjoyed with alcohol.
Yo Yo Honey Singh is proof that having a degree from Trinity School of Music does not mean anything. Especially when one thinks that expletives conjured up in the name of music and lyrics is cool.
Aja teri ch##t maroon
Tere sir se ch#dne ka bhoot utaroon
Ch#dne ke baad tujhe jutey maroon
Tere mooh main apna la#da dey key
The sheer enthusiasm with which both Honey Singh and Badshah sing the entire song makes you question the very way the Indian population and Bollywood as a whole, view women.
The reason why rappers and musicians are still in action in India mirrors the way Indian society enjoys this demeaning and acute objectification of women as means of entertainment. Because if Sheila ki Jawaani is not entertaining enough, you can always fire that inner misogynist spirit with any track of International Villager and songs like Tere G##nd mein danda dey.
3. Tu cheez badi hain mast mast
Whether it was the creativity of the song that made it highly acclaimed to the extent that no one bothered to check the lyrics, or the music industry seemed such words fit for a woman, we will never know. Whatever the reason, this 1994 song was popular in its times and can be assumed to be the pioneer of misogynist songs. Even Udit Narayan and Kavita’s duet couldn’t give it any grace.
4. Munni badnaam hui
Hai tujh mein poori botal ka nasha, botal ka nasha
Kar de budhaape ko kar de jawaan, re kar de jawan
This song was probably the highlight of the movie since the lyrics were at the tip of the tongue of every man, woman and child. Yes, children knew the lyrics too.
5. Brown rang
Derogatory terms for women and Yo Yo Honey Singh seem to go hand in hand. Look at this track Brown rang. You might want to believe Honey Singh is up and about against racism and unlike the population of the country in general, this gentleman does not care about the colour of the skin.
Hold it right there and take a look at the lyrics.
Urre aa tenu ek gal samjaava
Maare purze nu kadi hath mai na paava aa
Vase ta mitran da bahut vadda score
But white chicks na I don’t like them anymore
Ban mitran di whore
I mean mitran di ho
Loosely translated, a man is fascinated by a woman with brown skin. To woo her, he confirms that even though he has never liked anything so sub-standard, she is special; because even though she is sub-standard (owing to her skin colour), he likes her. Now the white chicks he liked don’t stand a chance in front of her. Racism – check.
Now don’t say no no.
Mai ta tera yo yo
Tu haan ta kar saambh lu mai tera pyo hoye
And of course her saying no doesn’t mean anything to the man. She will be pursued because he has set his eyes on her!
Bollywood has been an ardent admirer of derogatory songs. When whistles are blown in cinema halls to the beats of an item song and Yo Yo Honey Singh still has massive fan following – know that sexism and profanities against women will continue to be rampant. Like society, like movies. And vice versa!