How Bollywood Songs Normalised Harassment, Stalking And Sexism in Society.
How Bollywood Songs Normalised Harassment, Stalking, And Sexism in Society.
It is said that films are a reflection of society. Many even argue that movies are a medium of entertainment, not meant to be taken seriously. However, Bollywood forms one of the essential parts of our lives. We’ve grown up watching Bollywood movies and item songs. We’ve danced to them, hummed the lyrics, and played them aloud on our birthdays and marriages without realizing how deeply they influence us.
Our films, on a regular basis, show male characters actively pursuing their love interest by following her around, annoying her, troubling her, and refusing to take no for an answer. In a recent example, in the song “Hans Mat Pagli” from the film “Toilet — Ek Prem Katha”, Akshay Kumar pursues Bhumi Pednekar by stalking her. He sits outside her house, follows her around, climbs trees to secretly photograph her, attacks other men who so much as look at her, and more. This kind of behavior is not new to Bollywood; this has been going around for so long that it has now been normal in our society and we don’t even find it odd anymore. In a country where only 30% of people live in urban areas, in a country where interaction between the sexes is discouraged, this is even more problematic for girls.
“Yes, I have a right on you, you are my source of satisfaction.
If I ever stop you on the street, do not get alarmed or unleash your dog on me.
If I follow you, do not stop me.
Whatever the reasons might be, do not stop me.
If I follow you, do not stop me.”
In case you haven’t figured already, the above lines are of the song ‘Tu Mere Agal Bagal Hai’ from the movie Phata Poster Nikla Hero. Boy develops a crush on a girl. Boy pursues the girl. The girl rejects his proposal. Boy takes it as a sign to pursue her harder. He spies on her, stalks her, sings for her. At every step, he gets creepier.
There are uncountable songs that Worsley influence the society like “Tu cheez bari h mast”, “Balaam pichkari jo tune Muze Mari to sidhi saadhi choori saraabi ho gye”, “kuri kamal dekho dekho ji” and many more.
Rigid gender roles arising from sexism can also cause serious and far-reaching consequences for men and boys, such as negative impacts upon there self-perception and ability to form healthy, intimate relationships, as well as difficulty developing collaborative and cooperative social relationships. Furthermore, while boys and men gain social status, power, and privileges when they follow gender rules, they are severely punished for gender-based discrimination for breaking them
Women have fought for their rights since time immemorial, and all that struggle means nothing if one of the largest film industries in the world portrays its women as mere sex object. Readers, the next time you listen to a song, please give the lyrics a serious thought. Think about what is being said and discuss it with your peers to understand the meaning behind the words (more perspective help!).
The more aware listeners are, more responsible will the film-makers and songwriters be, as they hold the power to educate an entire nation and steer change across society with their works of art.
Remember that it is not just entertainment, it is a subconscious influencer.
It is not just about present profits, it is about social welfare in the future.