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Don't confuse between 'rappers' and 'rapers', says Twitterati

New Delhi, Jan 3, 2013, (PTI)
 Indian Punjabi singer Yo Yo Honey Singh performs during a concert with Mafia Mundeer on the outskirts of Amritsar. A chart-topping Indian rapper known for his sexually explicit lyrics was caught in a backlash on January 1, 2013, against sexism and mysogny in the wake of a horrifying gang-rape that has shocked the nation. Yo Yo Honey Singh, whose hits include 'My home my village', saw his New Year's Eve concert in New Delhi cancelled following an online campaign highlighting lyrics that incite violence against women. AFP PHOTO

The recent controversy over Honey Singh's songs has sparked off a debate on social media platforms with many questioning why Bollywood gets away with suggestive item songs.

The rapper, who became popular with his song 'Angerezi beat' in Saif Ali Khan starrer 'Cocktail', was caught in the controversy following the outrage over Delhi gangrape.

He was forced to cancel New Year's Eve performance in Gurgaon after an online petition by some activists and also faces an FIR in a Lucknow police station.

Singh tweeted that he was being used as an excuse while denying writing the lyrics that triggered the anger.

The online community seemed divided on the issue as many questioned why there was no criticism of Bollywood item songs like 'Shiela Ki Jawani', 'Munni Badanam Hui', 'Halkat Jawaani' and 'Fevicol' while others believed that freedom of expression should be respected.

"FIR lodged against Honey Singh, looks like the Indian system is confused between the 'Rapers' and 'Rappers'," Shivam garg posted on Twitter.

Filmmaker Anurag Kashyap too defended Singh, saying, "The country would like to believe that Honey Singh is the reason why rapes take place. Then let me raise my hand too. I did x rated EAtyachar. And I will stand up and say... You don't know what you are doing.. acting like a mob.. Then everything that offends anyone should be banned.

"The more we get moralistic and try to curb expression. There will be more
repression. Repression is the root cause of most evils," Kashyap added.

What seemed to bother many was the hypocrisy of targetting just one artiste while popular cinema and music continued to portray women as eyecandy.

"Ban 'Munni' and 'Sheila' as well. Why Honey Singh alone? Heights of double standards," tweeted Sumateja.

"Given Honey Singh's lyrics are offensive... And 'Mein to tandoori murgi hoon yaar, gatkale saiyan alcohol se' any less offensive??," a user posted while referring to Kareena Kapoor's item song in Salman Khan starrer 'Dabangg 2'.

"If you believe Honey Singh is the reason behind the rapes? Let's ban all kinds of American rap music too," one Nishtha tweeted.

Another online user reasoned, "Honey Singh lyrics are just like Sunny Leone porn. Don't like, don't listen, don't watch. They have the same effect (or not) on sexual violence."

These 'item songs' are even more vulgar... With girls dancing in skimpy outfits and language which doesn't make sense. Ban them also," posted Kinshuk.
Some users, however, called for a censorship in cinema and songs.

"Don't know if Honey Singh's songs are responsible for rape but if ANY OF YOU Youtube & hear his songs, you will agree that he is SICK (sic)," tweeted Nitin.

Filmmaker Mahesh Bhatt, who launched adult film star Sunny Leone in the industry with 'Jism 3', and has made many erotic thrillers, said, "Time is here for all of us in the audio visual manufacturing business to pause and do some mid course correction. We can't live in denial."

Director Onir, behind films like 'I Am' and 'My Brother Nikhil', feels Indian cinema portrays women as objects.

"Still cringe thinking of the scene when the hero of a v popular film looks up the air hostess skirt and its supposed to be cute. RETARDS. Popular entertainment has to stop portraying Sexual harassment as a CUTE BOY Thingy (sic)."


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