The first song from Ishaan Khatter and Ananya Panday’s latest movie ‘Khaali Peeli’ has been slammed online for its alleged racist undertones.
Many Indians have apologised to US pop star Beyonce for the lyrics of ‘Beyonce Sharma Jaayegi’, which released worldwide on September 7, as it seems to suggest that being fair is more desirable.
The lyrics of the item song — a dance-heavy track that’s inserted into a film but has nothing to do with the narrative — goes something along the lines of ‘Seeing your fairness, your beauty, even Beyonce will feel ashamed’.
Bollywood and South Indian films are notorious for promoting fair skin as more desirable. Despite heavy backlash over propagating the idea that dark skin is inferior, such songs continue to exist and thrive in Hindi cinema.
Khatter and Panday’s new song is an example of the tone-deaf filmmakers and songwriters that still exist, but Twitter users aren’t letting this one go.
“BeyonceSharmaJaayegi Hindi songs lyrics hit a new low! Extremely disappointed & disgusted! #BeyonceSharmaJayegi #KhaaliPeeli #KhaaliPeeliTrailer,” tweeted Prerna Wahi.
Another Twitter user said: “This is just blatantly ignoring the fact how they’re glorifying fair skin (yet again) and then comparing it to Beyonce (a black woman). This is RACIST. Y’all are embarrassing yourselves. TAKE THIS DOWN AND APOLOGIZE #BeyonceSharmaJayegi.” Some Twitter users were even harsher.
“This is literally garbage and specifically who [expletive] wrote this songe. Where’s your mind when you are writing it you don’t even know how disrespectful it is to Beyonce. If you can bring all your struggle kids still your can’t reach her level. Ban this song,” another user tweeted.
Many even called for a boycott of the song from the film ‘Khaali Peeli’, which will release directly online on ZeePlex on October 2.
The song’s video on YouTube has also garnered a massive amount of dislikes.
“Dear Beyonce, we are sorry,” tweeted Vishal Ghandat tagging the American singer who is a powerful voice for the Black Lives Matter movement.
India’s obsession with fair skin is legendary and songs with questionable lyrics continue to propagate skewed beauty standards.
In the past, songs such as ‘Chittiyaan Kalaiyaan’, with the lyrics “Yeah you’re my darling angel baby, white kalaiyaan [wrists] drive me crazy,” also suggested that being fair-skinned got you immediate acceptance and raised your self-worth.
The hit song ‘Kala Chashma’, which featured actress Katrina Kaif, had the lyrics: “Tenu kala chashma jachda ae, jachda ae gore mukhde the” roughly translated to ‘Your dark glasses suit your fair skin well.”