Holi kab hai? Fans of Bhojpuri singer-songwriter Guddu Rangila say if you hear a new song from him, then know that Holi has arrived. So what’s the latest from Guddu Rangila? Songs that take cue from coronavirus and National Register of Citizens, or NRC.
But no, this Bhojpuri singer isn’t spreading awareness about important issues. He is sexualising them. ‘Humra lehenga mein corona virus ghusal ba’; ‘Apna lehenga mein NRC laagu hokhey na dem’.
That’s the world of Bhojpuri music for you. Even a public health emergency is an excuse to titillate the audience.
Guddu Rangila is quite a sensation in Bihar and East Uttar Pradesh. His sexualised songs, most of them constructed around Holi and released during the festive season, are something of a cultural trend. He has earned the moniker of being ‘Holi Samrat’ — the emperor who fetishes his ‘bhauji (sister-in-law’s)’ lehenga. No talk or discussion on the decline of Bhojpuri music industry is complete without mentioning his name.
His YouTube channel, Sanjivani, which has close to two lakh subscribers, has uploaded more than a dozen songs since mid-January. The lyrics and videos of mostly all these songs are crass and vulgar. They are so cringe-worthy that even Dhinchak Pooja (‘Selfie maine le li aaj’ or ‘’Dilon ka shooter hai mera scooter’) starts to look better. But while Pooja’s songs are couple of inane lines on repeat, Guddu Rangila’s songs are disturbing.
Obsessed with rape
In one of his latest songs, he talks about having sex with his sister-in-law who is three months pregnant. The deeper you go into the dark world of Guddu Rangila, the more he reveals a mindset obsessed with rape. In January 2013, about a month or so after the gruesome Delhi bus gang rape and murder, Guddu Rangila came up with a song titled ‘Balatkar hota hai rajau’ means someone is being raped. In the beginning of the song, he demands death penalty for the rapists and then goes on romanticising the rape of a sister-in-law because her brother-in-law got aroused by the news of Delhi gang rape.
Few months later, around Holi, a man in Bihar was killed for protesting against the lewd songs of Rangila. Some of his other outrageous Holi songs are titled as ‘Holi mein izzat nahi bachat ho’, ‘Mot pichkari majanua ke’.
Destroying a culture
Bhojpuri songs are known for taking a stand on social issues. Rangila, 44, uses it differently. He is a nationalist and an ‘anti-national’ at the same time. He rejects NRC but finds an FIR filed against him for his song on the Citizenship Amendment Bill (CAB). He ignored all ‘musical rivalry’ with fellow Bhojpuri singer and BJP MP Manoj Tiwari and created a song asking people to support him during the Lok Sabha election.
Many Bhojpuri-speaking people I talked to have nothing but disgust for Guddu Rangila, who they believe has single handedly destroyed the language and culture of 15 crore people of Bihar and UP. While he does have a huge fan following, his YouTube videos are replete with comments criticising him for writing such songs that could sexualise almost everything.
He has over sexualised simple terms as Hau (that), Daalna (to put something), Katora (bowl) etc. The list is endless and so is the Guddu Rangila’s obsession with lehengas and breasts. Many now fear that soon NRC and coronavirus will enter into jokes that will be in poor taste.
It’s no wonder that Bhojpuri, despite being a lovely language and Boli, has been mocked over the years. And history will note how a singer with a penchant for rape was at the forefront when that language was being destroyed.