Chorus of dissent drowns ‘Beep’ song

The infamous song, while continuing to receive severe criticism from various quarters, has also generated heated discussion on women's issues.

December 22, 2015 12:00 am | Updated November 16, 2021 04:06 pm IST - CHENNAI:

Women’s organisations and activists across the State have risen inprotest over the issue — PHOTO: M. PERIASAMY

Women’s organisations and activists across the State have risen inprotest over the issue — PHOTO: M. PERIASAMY

The infamous ‘Beep’ song, sung by actor Silambarasan and composed by R. Anirudh, as it was believed initially, has led to a sharp debate on representation of women in cinema and popular culture. The song, which berates women for scorning a man’s love, has been criticised for its obscene and uncouth words.

The song that was leaked online on December 11 created a tremendous outrage both on and offline. Many termed it a ‘hate’ song against women. While Anirudh has completely disassociated himself from the ‘Beep song’ since Silambarasan has consistently maintained that the song was not meant for public use and his privacy was invaded.

Asked to comment, Anirudh on Monday told The Hindu that he was being unnecessarily dragged into the controversy despite making it clear that he was not involved in its production.

“Simbu himself on Sunday reiterated that I was never involved in the making of the ‘Beep’ song. It is Simbu’s song. I hope this puts to rest all unfair allegations against me,” he said. Nevertheless, the song has invited sharp criticism from several quarters.

However, Simbu’s argument that the song was not meant for public consumption has not gone down well with several of his critics.

Well-known lyricist Thamarai, who wrote the songs for his popular film Vinnai Thaandi Varuvaaya, refused to accept the explanation that the song is an incomplete version.

“We all use dummy words to create songs, but nothing can explain the use of such obscene words. In Tamil, we have a concept of Edakar-adakkal . It is a literary tradition of not using unpleasant words. We have a tradition to use polite words,” said Thamarai.

She welcomed the wider debate the song has generated and hoped that it will lead to a reform in the film industry. “We haven’t heard such vulgar words used in a song. If we don’t condemn it now, we will have to put up with more such songs. The criticism that these two have received will actually make the film industry wary of using such lyrics,” she said.

Writer Charu Nivedita questioned the very need for such a composition. “Apart from being extremely offensive to women, songs like these influence a society to act vulgar,” he said.

Drama at court

M.K. Ananth writes from Coimbatore:

Race Course Police in Coimbatore city on Monday summoned actor Simbu and music director Anirudh for the second time, asking them to appear before the station for inquiry at 12 noon on January 2.

Meanwhile, there was tension at the Coimbatore Combined Court on Monday as Maoists Kannan and Veeramani, who were produced before the court, raised slogans seeking arrest of Simbu and Anirudh for the controversial beep song.

They said that it was unfair to arrest Kovan for singing against Tasmac and not arresting the duo who have represented women in a derogatory way.

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