Move Over Badshah, And Listen To The Feminist Remake Of ‘Urvashi, Urvashi’!

Posted by Cake in Art, Cake, Feminism
February 24, 2017

This new video created and released by Breakthrough India has all the desi feminists grooving along. It’s A. R. Rahman’s original “Urvashi, Urvashi” score, but with a completely different set of lyrics that anybody can get behind – anybody with a keen eye for the patriarchy’s many ills.

We all love a good A. R. Rahman song, but even ’90s nostalgia cannot stop us from squirming at the original “Urvashi, Urvashi”. After all, it had its casual ageism (“bagal seat me buddhi ho toh, take it easy policy”) and some really suspect attempts at body-positivity.

In contrast to that, Breakthrough’s music video is pretty firm in its rejection of patriarchal society. From the “blurred lines” around consensual sex, down to the systemic exclusion of women from social and economic opportunities, the song hits all the right notes.

It was in January this year that Akshara Centre launched its Gaana Rewrite contest. They said, “[i]n the name of entertainment, a lot of song lyrics objectify women and are demeaning to women. Songs are written carelessly and from the male ‘time pass’ point of view which often leads to normalizing sexual harassment and violence against women.

While their contest ended last month itself, it brought up a lot of creative new versions of well-loved songs. And we’re glad to see the trend is continuing. The Breakthrough video clearly and unequivocally makes its feminist call to the Urvashi in all of us. But, of course, some folks simply had to drop in a mean comment:

We can’t help but agree with the second YouTube commenter’s solid advice here. How’s that for a “take it easy policy”?