UPDATE: The video has been removed from Youtube after a copyright claim by Venus Worldwide Entertainment Pvt Ltd.
The discussion on sexual harassment and objectification of women in Indian cinema (or any cinema, for that matter) has been long debated. From sending the wrong signals with lyrics such as ‘Hoton pe na, dil mein haan hoinga’ from the Shah Rukh Khan-Aishwarya Rai Bachchan-starrer Josh, to the countless ‘hit item songs’ that have no connection with the plot of a movie, Indian cinematic history is full of such instances of men forcibly targeting women as ‘their objects of affection’.
This fact forms the basis of this new video by comedy outfit All India Bakchod (AIB). Titled Harassment Through The Ages, the video “takes an honest look at How Bollywood has enabled harassment over the years”, and featured popular actors Richa Chadda and Vicky Kaushal.
The video starts with the January 2015 incident in Australia, when an Indian man was taken to court because he had stalked and harassed two women. The 32-year-old was obsessed with Bollywood and thought if he would doggedly pursue the women, then they’d eventually fall in love with him. As ridiculous as this argument presented by Sandesh Baliga’s lawyer may sound, the local magistrate actually said it would not record a conviction owing to his cultural background – thus validating that sexual harassment of women by a Bollywood-obsessed Indian was “quite normal behaviour” and commensurate with his “cultural background”.
The video traces songs right from the 1960s, through the 1970s, ’80s and ’90s, to present-day item songs, and how even the lyrics have got more and more brazen and direct. In AIB’s characteristic style, the songs’ lyrics have been reworked to reflect all that’s wrong with it. All through this, Mallika Dua acts the voice of reason, but then, when has that ever been heard, right?
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