Honey Singh faces the ire of the High Court

Punjabi singer and rapper Honey Singh was condemned by Punjab and Haryana High Court for his latest song titled Main hoon balatkari(I am a rapist). The court said that such lyrics offend the sensibilities and values of our culture and they should be summarily boycotted. This has triggered off a heated discussion in the music industry.

Human Empowerment League of Punjab (HELP) is a NGO based in Mohali.  It had foiled a PIL against the song and Honey Singh. The hearing was held in the court of acting Chief Justice Jasbir Singh and Justice Rakesh Kumar Jain which observed that society needs to boycott such singers. The court also directed the authorities to take action against Diljit Dosanjh, Gippy Grewal, Amar Chamkila, Ashok Masti and Geeta Zaildar who have also been a part of the song.

The court said, “Why has the government not taken cognisance of ‘Main hoon Balatkari’  (I am a rapist) song sung by Honey Singh, even though it attracts the provisions of Section 294 of the IPC (singing or uttering any obscene song or words in public place), which is a cognisable offence?” Justice Jain observed, “How can he sing such kind of songs? You can’t read the whole lyrics. You can’t go through the complete song. You (Punjab) read the YouTube and take action against him. In his songs there is nothing except abuses.”

Honey Singh is an immensely popular singer of today. Composer Sachin Ahuja says, “We have to agree that Honey Singh is the most popular pop singer of today. And, his fame is not limited to India. From parties to youngsters’ cars, his songs are heard almost everywhere.  In fact, YouTube is making a video on the world’s most famous pop singers, for which Honey Singh is representing India. Just the fact that he is popular has made him a target. Many singers have been coming out with vulgar songs; since they don’t gain as much popularity, they don’t come under the scanner. Boycotting the singer is not the solution. Law cannot be enforced on the public till they don’t want to restrain themselves from such forms of entertainment.”

Lyricist, writer and director Amardeep Gill says, “On YouTube, such songs have the maximum number of views. If the audience doesn’t like such songs, the singer won’t make them. More than the singer, listeners are at fault. How can you boycott a singer that the audience loves?”

So, it remains to be seen whether boycott has a special impact or not.