I have recently been re-connecting with news and media (okay, mostly media) in India and like always, I am left with that heady mix of resentment and belonging. Let us begin with this song I saw posted on Facebook.
If you are reading this blog, it is probably because you are my friend and you want me to stop asking you if you read my blog. So, you know that I usually don’t use this blog to complain about things that don’t really bother me. I mean other than you know, my life and its ails and such. I don’t mind people that use their DSLRs and flood my life with their artsy photographs of bullock cart wrecks and baby poo and what not. I like that we have Facebook and think that pictures of my girl friends in bars and bathrooms are pretty. I absolutely LOVE that the internet is a place to complain on. Where else are we going to humorously talk about our parents and discuss reasons for why we are the way we are?
What I really dislike is bullying. Before we get into why I think that song in the video is despicable, I want to talk about why it even matters. I was watching an NDTV special on the Kolaveri song (which I obviously quite like). It had Radhika Iyer wrapping up by telling us how(I paraphrase) music in India is undergoing a transformation, and while the past remains unforgettable and incomparable, the future seems to be a welcome change that you may like or not like, but surely cannot ignore.
Which is why Hiphop tamizha, the group that sings that song, seemed like a not-so-bad idea. We all like Hip hop, we all like tamizh (and tamizhas), so we will obviously like two together. It’s like eating celery and peanut butter together. You wonder at first, but once you try it you realize it’s actually quite nice.
There are reasons for this trend. Reasons that include but are not limited to the fact that radio and the reach of radio stations have changed drastically in the past 12ish years. I remember waiting for All India Radio’s 107.1 FM to play ‘western’ music in the evenings about 11 years ago. I remember when the private radio Boom happened in Chennai with Suryan FM and Radio Mirchi. We have all been a part of the past decade that saw the immense reach that radio has had, making music the paramount PR tool that it is. Alongside all this of course, are all these different types of music that people have realized you need to like to be acceptable and cool. Hiphop and rap and english-u are integral members of these types, fosho.
And of course, there is YouTube. I love YouTube and thank it for Justin Beiber and Rebecca Black and Tips on how to massage my cat Champ and funny vlogs like all of us do. But YouTube is your international radio. Just ask Anirudh, Dhanush and Aishwarya.
And I understand that anything you put up on the internet (this blog included) comes with a caveat emptor.
But you have a responsibility, dear Hiphop Tamizha. It disturbs me that you have the attention of people, you seem to be a group that wants to be a nice genre that mixes accepted types of music and you have all that right, and you choose to sing about this?
And as a friend rightly pointed out, as a girl who unflinchingly listens (and sings along ) to Lil Jon’s Get Low I have no right to be outraged or enraged by your song. But I have my reasons. Yes, it hits too close to home. Yes, it is despicable and reeks of attention-seeking-whore ness. But here are my other reasons why you truly need to re-think your decision to use your music to wage war on the Consortium of Pub-going, Loose and Forward Women of India. (gotta love Kuzhali)
- Because there is a larger Consortium of hypocritical, medieval, misogynistic men that is listening to your music.
- Because your song is bringing together these men and making them think it is okay to think it is hilarious that women who drink deserve ridicule and had it coming to get raped/harassed. So, you are basically like the Pied Piper that brings all these men together.
- Because Manu Sharma killed a lady over ten years ago and thought he could get away with it because she had it coming, and was recently out on parole and there are tonnes of men like him who think many women have it coming.
- Because there were attacks on women in Bangalore in 2009 and it’s two years later now, and your passive-aggressive song makes me wonder if things will ever change?
I know I am over reacting with this long-winded post but it just makes me so mad that the guys singing ‘Clubb le Mubb le’ look vaguely familiar, seem to be young upcoming singers and they choose to attack predominantly harmless happy drunk women who just want to have a good time and let people on Facebook know they are having a good time? It is like that time my parents gave me a curfew because the Chennai Police came around giving talks to parents in our neighborhood about how drunk women are causing too much of a ruckus after 11pm (by getting out of cars, carrying their heels on elevators, and tiptoeing into their houses) and how people really just need to control their daughters.
I apologize on behalf of all those times these women abused alcohol and beat up their husbands and set their houses on fire. Also for the times they raped unsuspecting men who were just minding their own business. I hope that makes you feel better. If these crimes have made you angry and you are doing the world a noble service by letting like minded men know that they are not alone, I am sorry for this post.
If this is about some girl who was drunk at a bar and told you she thinks she does not want to see you any more, I am sorry but I sort of see why she’d say that.
I don’t want to attack you, I am not a part of Vir Sanghvi’s elite bloggers. I don’t think I am a part of elite anything. I am just somebody who opened Facebook so I could distract myself from dealing with assignments, research, life and such.
Just to make myself and everyone else feel better, let us watch Dhanush enjoying his awesome performance high, using his usual self deprecating charm and winning us all over.
This Song’gu For Soup Boys’su
We Don’t Have Choice’su
‘Why this Kolaveri di’- Dhanush, Anirudh- 3