Honey Singh show cancelled, reacts to Delhi gangrape

Shara Ashraf

New Delhi, Dec. 31 -- A city angry over the gangrape and murder of the 23-year-old physiotherapist forced Punjabi rapper Honey Singh, whose lyrics have been described as profane and misogynistic, to calling off his New Year eve concert at a Gurgaon hotel on Monday. An online petition filed by Delhi-based writer and blogger Kalpana Misra was in circulation calling for the concert to be cancelled as the rapper's lyrics, replete with sexual innuendoes, virtually glorify sexually brutalising women. An FIR was also registered against the rapper in Lucknow for "offensive lyrics".

"I decided not to perform on New Year eve to express my grief for the unfortunate girl," the rapper, born in Hoshiarpur in Punjab and brought up in the UK, told HT. Sign petition here

"Aap bolo to mein India Gate par chal kar abhi candle jalaun. Mujhe awam ne banaya hai aur mein unke saath hoon (If you want I can go light a candle at India Gate. People have made me and I'll always be with them.)

His song Main Hun Balatkari (I am a rapist), which he now claims he hasn't sung, has come in for severe criticism.

The murder of the young woman, which outraged the Capital and the country with a many people opting for candlelight processions to New Year parties, has forced us to look inside - as individuals and society.

Popular culture of which music is an integral part is under scrutiny too. Honey Singh, or Yo Yo Honey Singh as he is known to his fans - and there are lots of them - is seen as part of a worrying trend towards accepting sexist music.

"Music does have an impact on people's mind. There are some innuendos and sexist remarks in songs that people like and relate to," said Dr Shelja Sen, adolescent and child psychologist at Children First, a mental health centre in Safdarjung Enclave.

But not all agree. "I know protests are on against for his vulgar songs but we need to realise that this is just entertainment," said 21-year-old Nupur, adding she was part the anti-rape protests at Jantar Mantar as well.

With inputs from Gurgaon, Chandigarh

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Published by HT Syndication with permission from Hindustan Times.