Bhojpuri Songs and Cinema: The Synonyms of Vulgarity and Women Objectification
By Mehar Chowdhry(23/10/2020 18:00 IST)
We see sexual objectification of women every day – in mass media, on the internet, television, billboards, plastered across vehicles and so on. The depiction of women in some movies encourages objectification as well. Movies over the last few decades have shown stalking and sexually overt gestures as a man’s way of portraying his affection for the woman.
Recently, actor turned politician, Ravi Kishan raised the point of vulgarity and objectification of women in the Bhojpuri cinema and also said that he would like to raise the issue in the parliament too. He also underlined that “Some people are tarnishing the image of the language by adding vulgarity in Bhojpuri songs.” Well, it would not be wrong to say that Mr. Kishan has also been one of those “some people”. He himself has been part of the production of some of the most vulgar songs and movies of the Bhojpuri cinema.
Although every film industry in India objectifies women in their songs and dialogues but the Bhojpuri film industry has crossed all lines. The vulgarity in their movie titles and item songs is enjoyed by the viewers. The Bhojpuri movies have now degraded their standard to cheap, double-meaning, portraying of female body as mere sexual objects.
Let us take some movie titles for example such as; Lehenga Mein Baadh Aael Baa (flooding inside my gown), Ajab Devra Ki Gajab Bhaujai (awesome brother-in-law’s fantastic sister-in-law), Raat Bhar Hilaya Hai Fir Bulaya Hai (jiggled all night and then called you) and so on the list just crosses all limits. If the movie titles are so cheap then what rubbish will be the content of these movies!
Now let us take up some item songs. There are many offensive songs in Bhojpuri industry which are glorifying the objectification of women but I have analyzed a few famous ones. For example;
1. Lollipop Lagelu (https://youtu.be/Gr8G_ldltDE):
The lyrics of this popular songs goes as: Kamariya kare lapalap, lollipop lagelu...Kamariya kare lapa lap, lollipop lagelu (when your hips move you look a lollipop). This is song just proves my point clearly.
2. Hamra hau chahee (https://youtu.be/mvurKaU3QGo):
This song is full of double meaning lyrics and visuals. Only one line is repeated again and again in the whole song i.e. hamra hau chahi (I want that) pointing towards the vagina of the heroine. Even if the lyrics is ignored one cannot ignore the vulgarity portrayed in visuals.
3. Lehanga utha deb remote se (https://youtu.be/9PXjfREgyrI):
This song tells the advantages of men being tech savvy as then they can easily lift the skirt of any girl they like with just a click of a remote (lehanga utha deb remote se). This one just disgusted me! And, Mr. Ravi Kishan, the person who is talking about raising point in the Lok Sabha over the issue of vulgarity was in the lead role in the cheap video of the song!
The metaphors used in the Bhojpuri songs for portraying female sex organs are as- ATM Machine, Bombs, Bluetooth, Hawra Bridge, Powerhouse, Godown, Generator, System (Computer CPU), Hang, Gunpowder, Mobile, Heater, and others are used for the representation of female sex organs.
‘Bombs’ are targeted as females’ breast. Godown is used in the sense that female reproductive organ, Vagina, is as a place where lots of things can be stored, ‘things’ is the word to represent male reproductive organ. ‘System’ being another metaphor to compare with female reproductive organ. Here, it is said that, as the number of people to run the system (computer) increases, the performativity also decreases with the passage of time.
How many of us know about Bhikhari Thakur, the Shakespeare of Bhojpuri? I guess, no one! The man wrote numerous plays, stories and poems to marvelously showcase the very Bhojpuri life as well as to narrate what does being Bihari mean. But what do we see in the Bhojpuri cinema? Only rubbish! Can’t they just correctly showcase the Bihari life? Why is this industry encouraging such linguistic violence against women? Why isn’t the censor board banning this type of content? And the most important question; why are these songs and movies super hit? Why is the society enjoying it? And why are not the heroines and women protesting against it? Is this something to be glorified?
- Personal observations and analysis