While the world is celebrating eradicating patriarchal traditions and ensuring equal rights for women everywhere, the Bhojpuri music industry seems to be sleeping in some other dimension altogether.
For long, Bhojpuri songs have been criticized for portraying women in a bad light, but what is actually quite surprising is that it has continues to happen, even in 2018.
The more gore and sexually violent the songs are, the more easily they sell out, just like hot cakes.
This profane depiction of women in songs is mostly common in Jharkhand, Bihar Chhattisgarh and eastern Uttar Pradesh. The same states are counted among the ones having the poorest sex ratio and the highest registered crimes against women.
Now, it won’t be wrong to suggest that these songs are the one leading to increase in the cases of sexual harassment against women. These songs objectifies women in all aspects. Young women are made to dance in front of an all male audience, with raunchy lyrics playing in the background. The male audience often go too far, getting close to the dancer or touching them here and there, and they are cheered for this behaviour.
The cast hierarchy also plays a significant role in this increased brazenness of bhojpuri songs. Just type Bhojpuri gana MP3 download in your browser, and you would get different songs depicting women in poor light, but all of them having same lyrics. The only difference lies in which caste is being praised. For brahmins, the song will have a pandit ji, for yadavs, it will be yadav ji ka chora, and so forth.
The way public has normalized this sexual exploitation is beyond comprehension. A man molesting a woman in the name of song and dance, is a satisfactory source of entertainment to them. The woman will always be shown weak, timid, afraid and overly dependent on the man in these songs. They create an image in the mind of the public that women are some sort of entitlement, and have only taken birth to be claimed by one man or the other.
Many people argue that these songs and dance are a way of preserving their culture. But what good a culture is where random men can exploit women in the disguise of performance and then using this behaviour as a parameter to judge their pseudo machoism.
These songs are lacking in almost every department, whether it be composition or vocals. So the only way to market their songs is to provide a picture which can attract the attention of our menfolk: scantily clad girls.
So not only the makers, the audience is also equally guilty in promoting such a regressive mindset. Bhojpuri songs are actually a mirror to the dark doings of our society. That what we preach and what we practise are polar opposites of each other. In a society that actually respects women, dignity of women does not fall to such a low level where exploitation is the only way to earn fame and money. They should command respect and attention, but making them dance in “Tohar chumma vitamin A” is so not the way to do that.