Chennai

'Beep' song caught in controversy

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Simbu says the song is not for public use; the video, he claims, was leaked.

With the Coimbatore police registering a case against actor R. Silambarasan alias Simbu and young music composer R. Anirudh for indecent representation of women in their infamous Beep song, the two went on the defensive on Sunday. While Anirudh denied composing the song, Simbu, who is seen in the video seemingly mouthing expletives that are beeped out, claimed that the song was meant for his private consumption. The video, he claimed, was leaked.

Nonetheless the lyrics objectionably describing a woman’s private parts caused widespread outrage.

Sampath Kumar, a former BBC correspondent, who had done a 60-part series on Tamil film music history titled ‘ Patondru Kanden’, said, “Misogyny is unacceptable in any form. In this song, you could see brazenness in the obscenity used. I cannot recall another song with such crass lyrics.” He said in the past legends such as Vaali and Kannadasan were able to couch problematic ideas in lyrics of high literary value, though it did not mean that such lyrics were acceptable if good language is used.

Tamil film historian Vamanan said it was ironic that at a time when lyrics have lost relevance in Tamil film music, due to “cacophony of noise” characterised by the precedence to loud beats, some like the ‘Beep song’ put focus back on it albeit in a negative fashion.

Also read: >Misogyny may hit real portrayals

“The idea today seems to be to write or compose songs for the sake of making it go viral on social media. I call this the ‘viral’ infection,” he quipped.

In the past, songs such as ‘ Elantha Pazham’ from ‘ Panama Pasama’ had been deemed controversial though they became super hit.

Lyricist Thamarai said that the question of where the writers of such obscene lyrics come from was important.  “They also come from the same society. The problem is pervasive. Such songs are penned because the society has time and again accepted it. But when I came into the industry, I took a principled stand that I will not pen a single obscene word,” she added.

Commenting on the defence taken by the accused film personalities, lawyer S. Nagasaila said the claim of the song being intended for private use could only be a defence in trial. “But since it is now public and a complaint has been filed, the law has to take its course. The court can decide if their claim is true or false,” she said.

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Printable version | Jan 21, 2018 10:53:09 PM | http://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/chennai/beep-song-raises-a-storm-of-protests/article7985908.ece