By Artika Raj:
My first draft of this piece had me very consciously keeping those claws in, lest the article turn into yet another rant on how yet another song by bhai Honey Singh is an assault on the senses, glorifying the horrifying and just plain Wrong! But then I realised, why must I hold back? If in the ‘Free World’ he has the right to unleash what he terms music upon unsuspecting happened-to-have-their-radio-on ears, then so do I. If the ayes who support him argue that well you could have turned the radio off, then we the nay sayers suggest that you can leave this page too. Meow.
Of the many life lessons Mr. Yo Yo has taught his fans so far in his songs, this latest one goes right up there with the best because not only does it glorify what is a huge problem that our country is facing, but asks people to be proud of it – Haan main alcoholic hoon… pee ke bhi seedha khada hoon, kyunki main alcoholic hoon (Yes, I’m an alcoholic. I can stand straight even after drinking, because I’m an alcoholic). Intervention, Honey Singh style.
Pitted as the ‘Drinker’s Anthem’, this new song by our rapper from Punjab, that state which is currently caught in a deep and dark crisis of drugs and alcohol, bases itself on some very sound logic. The sort of very ingenious Indian defence that if it were only allowed in our courts, the backlog that is dragging down our judicial system would be taken care of sooner than you could say… hmm… YoYo?! That’s the ‘What goes of your father’ line of defence — Tere baap ka kya jaata hai?!
Apni peeun kisi ke baap ki nahin, Main Alcoholic hoon (I drink my own booze, and not of someone’s papa’s. I’m an alcoholic). Yes I’m a party freakin’ crazy. But really now, what goes of your father?!
True enough Mr. Singh. Your argument apart from being flawless is also an exercise in teaching people some tolerance. Why must anyone take offence if a person decided to down chaar bottle vodka and have a merry time? The ‘my liver, I shall trash’ line of thought is indeed valid.
And yet, here are just a few reasons why I won’t be doing the Macarena to this song at the next party:
Over 70% road accidents in big cities and 44% to 67% in smaller cities are attributed to drinking and driving, and that’s the leading cause of death of those in the 15 to 29 age group. The very productive demographic that our Prime Minister hopes is going to turn this country’s fortunes around with their ‘Mouse’.
India by the way is already leading the South Asian region in one department — alcohol consumption.
The alcoholic party freakin’ crazy people that Mr. Singh is preaching to, ought to know that the WHO’s Global Status Report on Alcohol and Health 2014, rates India 4 on a scale of 1 to 5 on the ‘Years of Life Lost’ scale. This means that those who consume alcohol lose most of their could-have-lived-happily years to drinking and its consequences.
And of course the party is starting really young now, as suggested by a report by NIMHANS that says that the age of starting alcohol consumption has come down from 28 years in the 1980s to about 17 in 2007. What begins as an experiment, has now turned into an addiction that lasts for an average of ten years.
And let’s not forget the big picture:
A NIH report says that in 2012, 5.9% of all global deaths accounting for 3.3 million people (7.6% male and 4% female) were linked to alcohol consumption. That it also contributes to over 200 diseases and injury-related health conditions, like cancer, liver cirrhosis and alcohol dependence among others. And that alcohol abuse is the fifth leading factor for ‘premature death and disability; among people between the ages of 15 and 49’.
Not really the sort of stuff you break out into a jig over, right?!
In the past brother Honey Singh has faced controversy for allegedly glorifying rape in one of his songs. I’m choosing here to skip over the other misogynistic, chauvinistic and various other tics that his many songs have espoused. But just when I thought that we’ve probably heard the worst that could be strung together in a so-called-melody and be called a song, there is this. But of course, The Shaukeens Akshay Kumar and Lisa Haydon find romance in grooving and grinding to Daaruko main dudhu ki tarah pee jaaun, apni peeun tabhi to mota peg banaaun (I drink alcohol like milk, it’s mine and so I can take a big fat peg).
There it is again. That death-defying logic. What goes of your father?! Tere baap ka kya jaata hai?!