Bollywood in the ’90s successfully equated romance with stalking.
Impressed with the number of feminist films that released last year? Yes, we were too. But of course, this wasn’t the case back in the ’90s, when films and songs actively promoted harassment, stalking and situations where the heroes (or heroines, in the case of Tabu’s Ruk Ruk Ruk) didn’t give a damn about consent.
In fact, Bollywood in the ’90s successfully equated romance with stalking. Imagine, all these years, we were happily humming to peppy hits where weird pelvic exercises to woo a woman was the usual norm alongside propagation of an insane idea that stalking was just fine, as long as the hero claims that he loves you.
So, here are a few Bollywood samples of some really sexist lyrics that suggested that a woman’s reluctance to say ‘yes’ meant that she was either coy (she needed more prodding) or she wasn’t entitled to her own opinion, when it comes to love and relationships. Take a look.
Hey ladies, ever encountered a roadside Romeo whose only job (without a pay) includes staring and passing lewd comments at all women passing by? Surely, this song (tailor-made for harassers) must have been a huge inspiration because of its loathsome lyrics that include “Pass Who Aaye Toh, Chu Ke Main Dekhun Zara” and more.
Nothing can sound more juvenile than the lyrics “Tu Haan Kar, Ya Naa Kar, Tu Hai Meri Kiran”. It’s as if the hero (presuming he’s a little lad) is implying that Kiran was a toy. Certainly a classic case of obsession and objectification of women.
“O Laal Dupatte Wali, Tera Naam Toh Bata” is another terrible product of the ’90s where the two leading men are thrusting their delusional “men will be men” belief on to women. In this song, the two women get severely stalked, their dupattas are pulled, the two men shove their faces into their chests, and they’re basically groped, fondled and tossed about like a football, throughout the song. Such a shame!
This one goes the other way round where Tabu’s sole mission is to hound and threaten Ajay Devgn (yes, him) until he quits being the angry young man (the character he essays in the song) and gives her a “look”. And of course, who can forget the weird pelvic thrusts towards the end of the song.
Glorifying harassment and rape culture, this detestable song by Baba Sehgal was a massive rage. Beat that. All we can say is, what the heck were they thinking?