The Bharatiya Janata Party in Haryana promised to “ban western music and obscenity” in its manifesto for the State — released in Chandigarh amid much fanfare on Tuesday — but the party’s central leaders here are unable to answer questions on what obscene western music is.
A central party leader who was present during the manifesto’s release said it was a mistake, the BJP wants to ban “obscenity” or what is called bhondapan in Haryanvi. When asked which “western music” could be considered obscene and whether any music could be considered obscene, the leader did not want to answer.
A party spokesperson went a step further: “Why are you asking these questions about the manifesto for Haryana? The truth is we are not going to win and there will be no question of implementing any manifesto.”
Point number two under the heading “Art and Culture” in the BJP’s manifesto for Haryana says: “We will encourage ancient Haryanvi culture, its festivals, sports and melas and rejuvenate these, while we will ban western music and obscenity on display in the name of culture by enacting a law.”
Party leaders failed to respond when asked whether the BJP considered “item numbers” in Bollywood films obscene and whether these were less obscene than western music. No one in the party was willing to say what the Haryana State unit meant by western music: Mozart, Beethoven, Bob Dylan, the Beatles, Michael Jackson or Norah Jones.