GANG RAP: IS BAD TASTE A RIGHT?

200px-shootout_at_lokhandwala.jpg

The song ‘Aye Ganpat’‡ in the Hindi movie ‘Shootout at Lokhandwala’ (a mouthful for the foreigner, I know) is in bad taste but not bad enough to ban, if newspaper reports are to be believed. Why ban a song, a novice may ask, what’s the word, ah, artlessly. Or guilelessly.
‡ If you want to read the lyrics, click here, and you can watch the video here.
Well, first things first, let the novice note a peculiar feature of the great land of India: in its vast complications of history, geography and religion, it has managed to create a feeling in every citizen that he is special. Special as in entitled to privileges that would have to be given first preference, common sense be damned. If I can draw a hypothetical parallel, it would be like a stricture given to media hacks that while they are interviewing a blogger talking on say, designer vaginoplasty, they cannot rush for comments to a passing-by George Clooney, for it would offend said blogger.

If you wish to know some more, don’t read my post ‘The Sacred Right To Offend’. Try some other blog.

Kalra, an advocate working for women’s rights, had argued that the song was “derogatory to the dignity of women” and violated a “fundamental right i.e. right to love with dignity”.

So, now there is a ‘right to love with dignity’? What, incidentally, is love without dignity? And what has poor hypothetical Ganpat done? But that is a digression.
Let me give you some parallel examples of how rights could very well be perceived in India:
1. If you kiss your girlfriend in my sight, you are violating my morality and right to see only things that I agree with.
2. If you find that the tickets to the movie ‘Shootout…’ are sold out, your right to watch a movie on Saturday night are violated.
3. If you build a ten-storey building next to my two storey one, you violate my right to the morning sun.
And so on. I know you will call this absurd. But isn’t this a technique in logic: reductio ad absurdum!?
This country, where people are attacked for speaking out their minds (recent examples of writer Taslima Nasrin and painter MF Hussain come to mind), is a haven for all manners of people who claim derivative ‘rights’ as fundamental rights.
The moment I hear the words ‘public good’, ‘indecency’, ‘objectification of women’, and many more modern-day bromides, my BS meter starts ringing wildly.
I go crazy at the noise, and escape it by going into my blog.
So, you tell me:
I love this song. It’s gangsta rap, Bollywood-style. I have poor taste. Do I have a right to it?

16 responses to “GANG RAP: IS BAD TASTE A RIGHT?

  1. Ofcourse u do , dockie 🙂
    It will be freely available now that its banned !
    I have a copy of ‘satanic verses’…not that I understood anything…but u know…

    I have poor taste. //
    I thgt u like ‘thayir vadais’ 😦

    Sree,
    No, its not banned yet. Yes, I like thair vadais, too!

  2. Why not, as long as you don’t force other to enjoy it! By this I mean blaring it out loud on your lawn late into the night so that neighbours are disturbed! I am saying this because I have been at the receiving end far too often, having lived next to ganesh mandals in pune and that too during my final exams! and when i say loud, i mean cacophonic!

    Nita,
    Right to sleep in peace should be enshrined in the Constitution! But then, there are already decibel level restrictions you could use to protect that right!
    🙂

  3. It can be said with confidence that you have not watched ‘About a Boy’, where the said boy gets into trouble for singing loudly in his school corridors the song (which this song seems ‘inspired’ by) while wearing headphones. The original song is called ‘Shake Ya Ass’ by Mystikal.

    Now as rights go, somebody could be suing the industry – somebody is, I hear – to protect their copyRIGHT which in Bollywood is taken to mean ‘we have a right to copy’.

    PS: Thanks. There is a reason why I have a nom de guerre…

    Uno-mouse,
    I have no doubt that every other Bollywood song or movie that is a delight is a straight life from some original. A song from the movie Swades (yeh desh hai tera) is also a lift.
    I am very impressed with you, I must say. Please feel free to join here. Its free!
    And some day, I want to hear the story behind the name….
    🙂

  4. //Let me give you some parallel examples of how rights could very well be perceived in India://

    You are offending me by your posts. My fundamental right *not to be offended* is being violated by your morally corrupt blog that twists the wor(l)d and the mind of innocent naive youngsters by exposing them to offending knowledge related to sex and other such immoral topics.

    You are spreading vital medical information that is in complete defiance of accepted social, moral, and religious norms. This information corrupts my mind, and my fundamental right to retain my beliefs is being violated.

    Someone will soon file a PIL against your blog. Better follow our terms or else…(shattering glass pane noises…furniture breaking noises….etc.)

    Your examples are too mild-mannered, Doc. How’s this for starters?! 🙂

    Youch! I got scared, Mahendra!!

  5. To me that song is not offensive, but blasphemous in the name of music! But then i’m poor at distinguishing between art and entertainment.
    A friend of mine who recently got a overpriced music system invited me to his place to witness the deflowering of his electronic equipment, and guess what was the very first song he played 😀

    If the song is banned, more and more people will listen to it out of curiosity 🙂

    “blasphemous”//

    Priyank,
    🙂

  6. Voracious Blog Reader

    Hey Doc,

    I listened to the song once. Didn’t like it though. In a song, the tune interests me first and very rarely the lyrics.

    Voracious Blog Reader

    Welcome back, V!
    And hope you had a very happy birthday!

  7. Voracious Blog Reader

    Thanks for the wishes Doc.

    Voracious Blog Reader

  8. It’s the principle of mind over body, doc! In India one shall not hurt another’s moral sentiments, but free to bomb the hell out of his body, throw acid, chairs and flower pots at her face, and issue fatwas calling for anyone’s head on a platter 😦

    Right you are, as usual!

  9. Mahendra, I may not write radical content, but there are people who still object!! Initially when I started the blog, I had a crank, one with a communist idealogy, and another with a pro-reservation idealogy who were trying to batter my blog for writing capitalist stuff and pro-reservation stuff! Strange, considering that I consider my posts to be fairly mild! One guy actually was furious with me because he said he typed in the word ‘dalit’ in my search box and came up with “one measly post.” !! 😀

    Nita,
    You write pro-reservation stuff too?

  10. The song is pure mumbaiya gangster rap !

    Indians are a sensitive lot , we bottle up a lot of our problems and channel them into trivial persuits

    have u seen a street arguement turn into a fight ever – once i even overheard 2 people fresh out of one saying – god knows what happened he swore and the it started – who cares
    haat saf karneko to mila na!
    yes there are plenty of nutcases around
    i had one too someone who liked a dd newsreader so much that he would just not back down.

  11. on artists i sometimes differ
    some of them do take creative license too liberally
    but if people object to mf husseins paintings
    they should start drawing mf hussein in the nude doin wierd things i guess, instead of making noise and violence

  12. A collective injection of SOH is needed, methinks.

    As An Only Mouse points out, there is a Mystikal link. But a more popular use is by Groove Armada, made popular by Renault Megane here in Europe:

    http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=-1924031670376145263

    Shefaly,
    What’s SOH?
    Oh, now I have heard this number, but never seen the video. Thanks!

  13. Rambodoc, no, I don’t write pro-reservation stuff, guess I wrote the comment at a sleepy time! I actually wrote something from a previous sentence! I should have said anti!
    In fact I as I was reading my comment I realised I had made another mistake. In the other comment on osama. Instead of comic series I wrote serious!
    Hope people figured that out!

    Ok, understandable, I guess!

  14. Nita: Thanks for clarifying! For a moment, I was wondering about editing my blog-roll! 😀

    Just kidding…I knew it was mistyped.

    But it was indeed a surprise. I thought your posts were quite open-minded, and welcomed diverse opinions, so you wouldn’t have had obnoxious comments at all!

  15. SOH = sense of humour. Mea culpa.

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