Around last month, a self-professed singer who failed in the initial stages of Indian Idol uploaded a video that had him sing a tone-deaf, soulless cacophony of verbal vomit that was named Aunty ki Ghanti. That verbal vomit that was stitched together with strings of misogyny, crassness and male privilege. First, people saw it as a joke – a new Dhinchak Pooja had arrived. The joke went too far, with some Facebook Page admins setting up real life events.
The event would comprise of a bunch of students shout the lyrics of the song at the top of their lungs. The events sprung like carbon marks on a burnt roti. Someone in Bangalore did it, someone in Calcutta did it and then there was talk about it happening in Mumbai, Worli Sea-face. Stomachs curdled collectively thinking that the most romantic location in Mumbai would be host to the most sexist, almost sexual assault worthy lyrics.
Slowly, but surely, new media outlets took note of the video and lyrics and covered it first – in a neutral manner. It was only when someone heard the lyrics that they understood that this was sexist to the core. Quint Neon did a piece about how the video was a textbook case of sexual harassment. In a case of irony, the female journalist who did that piece got rape and death threats.
The video reeked of a zero budget. Shot on a literal grassy knoll with zero sound sync, it is a classic insult to everything that’s streaming.
But what the video did, was prove that bullies not just exist but thrive. It was overwhelming to see the number of Facebook page admins who declared war against Quint Neon, the journalist, anyone who spoke against the song. With nothing else to justify, most of them used the patent ‘Freedom of Speech’ and ‘Freedom of Expression’. Some even said that the song was just a silly song with expletive lyrics – like the ones we heard from the rappers from Hollywood.
Maybe Aunty ki Ghanti hit hard because it was ‘our song’, in ‘our language’. There’s no doubt that the lyrics of Hollywood rappers are worse. But then, nobody plans to have a flash mob outside media houses, do they?