“Are we listening to the lyrics? These lyrics were written by men and not women. Should we be listening to these songs? Should we be allowing it?” questioned Juhi Chawla at a conversation around women’s empowerment on Tuesday as reported by Indian Express. Juhi called out to songs like Munni badnam hui and Chikni chameli , probing the significance of these songs.
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She also had to dance to a few item songs in her day and age when she was a superstar in the 90s and she agreed that she was not happy doing those songs. “Even I had to do one or two such songs. Do you think I was happy doing that? When I was dancing to ‘Jab Tak Rahega Samose mein aalu….’ do you think I was enjoying it?” she asked as a rhetorical question. The major drawback she faced was the fact that she was all by herself on the sets and that made it difficult for her to raise her voice. She did those songs as they were a part of her job.
Item numbers continue to rule the roost today. A sample of some of the hit songs in the last few years:
Munni badnam huyi darling tere liye
- Fevicol se
- Mera naam Mary hai
- Chikni Chameli
- Halkat jawaani
- Sheila ki jawaani
While the actress is right in saying that these songs are written by men in the industry, today it is not difficult for actors like Malaika Arora Khan and Katrina Kaif to protest against such songs and firmly deny them. These songs might just be an entertainment for someone who is writing them, but reading the lyrics in the real context show how badly women are objectified through these songs.
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It is a pity that with all these talks around empowerment, rights and safety concerns for women, these songs, which serve no real purpose but to objectify women continue to be a hit among the masses.
Feature Image Credit: Hindustan Times