Palash Sen labelled sexist at IIT-fest, hits back

Palash Sen, lead singer of Euphoria who introduced a new style of Hindi rock in the early 2000s has recently faced the music for making ‘sexist’ remarks. While the singer has clarified it was misconstrued and unintentional, his comments about women while on stage have drawn flak from feminists and researchers.

During the IIT-B fest, Mood Indigo, Sen was performing. Presumable carried away with the mood, Palash Sen was seen making controversial remarks. He asked the crowd, ‘Are there good looking girls in IIT-B?’ Although he may have meant it as a joke, it was not taken that way by the girls present there. Moreover, after the question was thrown to the audience, the boys lifted their hands in solidarity to say no. This led to the female students of IIT-B feeling small and humiliated. Instead of rectifying the situation, Palash Sen went on to tell the boys ‘Don’t worry guys, you will find the best looking women when you leave this campus. Aur woh tumhare liye roti belenge (They will roll chapattis for you).’ He also attempted to mollify the girls by saying the husbands will reciprocate their wives’ love and care by massaging their feet. These comments have not been seen in a good light and have been referred to as dated stereotype ideas of marriage in India.

Palash Sen has attempted to clarify himself by saying ‘I couldn’t hear the girls’ voices. When i asked where were the IIT girls, the guys said there were no women there.’ To this, Sen asked who the beautiful girls present there were to which the boys said they were from outside the campus. To this he claimed to say ‘God’s most beautiful creation is a woman.’ This comment seemed to have drawn criticism for the fact that girls are still measured on the yardstick of beauty and only outward beauty still seems to matter in VNIT.

Bloggers like Arpita Biswas and solepiece have raised their voices against the comments to which Sen has asked, ‘Am I supposed to say politically correct things onstage? I was speaking to young people; their sense of humour is different.’  

Although his well wishers acknowledge the whole thing as a joke, people have pointed out that singers are perceived as idols by young people and therefore they have responsibilities. Their stereotypical statements have a big psychological on maturing minds. To them, such incidents cease to be a joke.