Don’t Stop Songs Like Sheela, Stop Crime Against Women!

Posted on December 11, 2010 in Shout Out

By Dilasha Seth:

“First ‘Munni Badnaam’, now ‘Sheela ki Jawani’…
saddened by the portrayal of women in popular culture…
the popularity of Munni Badnaam raises fear what heights Sheela…. will reach…
I support women’s rights… but I do not support stripping womanhood…
waiting for some action by feminists

— Reads a facebook status by a journalism student of an esteemed institution of the country.

It’s heart wrenching to see to-be-journalists making issues out of non-issues.

‘Sheila ki Jawaani’ is such a harmless song. In fact, Katrina Kaif has done an amazing job. The song has not only been sensuously shot, but also it’s a Farah Khan’s movie (a woman). Why is it that women are always targeted, be it movies, songs, on the streets, at the workplace etc?

If today’s youth, or better still, journalists, would start moral policing, in the lines of Shri Ram Sene or Shiv Sena to name a few, the country would not progress, rather would regress.

It is rightly pointed by a facebook comment on the above status, “Are women dancing on item songs on streets when they are raped?”

When a woman is getting harassed, men remain mute spectators. If they cannot act that time, they do not have a right to act like hypocrites and direct women as to how to dress up, where to go, what to watch, or expect the so-called ‘ACTION’ by feminist groups for the same (in reference to the above facebook status).

To top it all, no one has the guts to talk about the real issues related to women. We do not need a Women Reservation Bill, but respect for who we are. Identify what you can do for the real issues that require attention and solidarity, for entertainment industry we have a ‘censor board’.

There are a lot of girls in the country who do not have the privilege to go to school, to receive education. What about those girls whose parents still think ‘girls are born only to be married off’, or ‘what will she do after getting educated, ultimately she has to look after her family and kids’.

Simran(name changed), dreamt of becoming an astronaut, topped her class 11th, till hell broke loose and her parents got her married off to a 40-year-old man. And this did not happen in the rural parts of the country, but in the national capital, Delhi.

“I have a 2-year-old daughter. My in-laws harass me to have a son now”, she says as tears trickle down her cheeks. Yes, this is the miserable state of women around us.

In another case, 21-year-old, Meenu is a trained beautician but is still sitting at home as her parents do not want her to go to work. “They feel, this will bring a bad name to the family”, she explains.

Why doesn’t anyone try to change the mindset of orthodox parents? Are these grave issues not relevant enough? If banning the songs like ‘Sheila ki Jawaani’ can solve the above mentioned problems, GO AHEAD!!!


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I think we have misinterpreted the point. What we have to recognize is that we have gone from a culture where sex is a taboo to a culture where it is being glamorized to an extent in movies etc. ‘Sex’ will be a socially good thing if it is treated normally, but it starts giving problems as soon as it becomes a taboo subject seldom talked about or even if it becomes excessively glamorized where people feel that this is a particularly interesting topic to always keep bragging about. The ideas of ‘progress’ and ‘regress’ as suggested by the author are not as linear as we are made to think and hence neither is Shiv sena correct or this author for that matter.
Banning this songs is not the solution to the problem, but there needs to be a moral responsibility not to glamorize or encourage this culture by the audience too, not depend on the censor board only. Tell me what impression does it carry that the female lead in most of the movies does no real ‘acting’ at all because there is no good role, except such sleazy stunts. In fact it pains me to think that her only presence in the movie is to titillate the audience and for sake of completeness of the movie from the perspective of the male protagonist. This movies/ item songs are nothing but the aspirations of a patriarchal society expressed in a slightly different way this time. What a lot of feminists call for is a change in the thinking/ notions towards women. We need to seriously need to rethink the notion that the womanhood of a women is “only” in her body and it needs hell of a lot of over-expression in movies.

But all this said, I still agree to the fact that there are better things to do for empowerment before we pounce on this aspect before this as suggested by the author. Hence we will adjourn this discussion sine die unless somebody wants to contest my opinion!

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