JNU's Double Standards: Students want 'sexist songs' banned. What happened to their liberal free thought?

Nairita Mukherjee
Nairita MukherjeeApr 02, 2019 | 18:31

JNU's Double Standards: Students want 'sexist songs' banned. What happened to their liberal free thought?

What's next, JNU? Ban books, plays, films, outfits or foods you find offensive? And we thought you were different from AMU and BHU!

A group of female students of the Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) have launched a campaign called ‘Dekho magar consent se’ — to seek a ban on 'sexist' and 'vulgar' songs apparently often played during cultural meets by DJs.

It all started off after a ‘hostel night party’ organised by the Committee. “We just had our hostel night on March 31. We told the DJ not to play songs like 'Lollipop Lagelu' and 'Jeans Dhila Kara'. We have appointed people to be in charge of taking care of what songs are being played," Abhiruchi Ranjan, a final-year PhD student at the university and a resident of the hostel was quoted saying.


But if there is one thing that JNU stands for, surely it is free thought. Whatever the cost may be.

They’ve fought political parties, professors and even deans when needed in order to stand their ground. They’ve been arrested, thrashed, mocked, vilified, even jailed — but free thought, they are not willing to give up on.

That's a slippery slope — Where will JNU's proposed ban on sexist songs lead? (Source: Wikimedia Commons)

So, what happened here?

Doesn’t the 'Dekho magar consent se' campaign, therefore, stand against their very ideology?

By calling for a ban on certain songs a certain section finds inappropriate, aren’t they robbing others of their right to listen to them?

The primary concern regarding such songs was that they objectify women — something Bollywood’s ‘item number’ has always been accused of. Equally though, this is something you can accuse even non-item number songs of doing. Whether with words of love or lust, adoration or bedroom ardour, film songs have always and anon objectified women.

So, if you call for a ban on one kind, where do we go from here?

Equally important to note, can anyone even deny that there are as many women out there who enjoy foot-tapping Honey Singh numbers or swaggering 'item songs' as there are men?


So then, it's not even a clear man vs woman thing, is it?

By calling for a ban — which essentially enforces one ideology over another — JNU is portraying the very same regressive trait they have made a name fighting. What is the difference then between JNU banning certain songs, and say, AMU or BHU banning certain outfits, books, plays — anything that 'offends' the loudest lot of people on campus?

Wasn't JNU supposed to be different?

Wasn't JNU supposed to be liberal?

But funnily enough, being 'liberal' — in the true sense of the term — is not as easy as it might appear.

If JNU were to live by its own principles, those offended by the songs would have simply moved past these, without denying others the option of enjoying them.

Ignore, not impose, is the truly evolved way to be.

But imposing a ban on some songs at hostel parties because a certain section finds these offensive stems from exactly that same grain which says — ‘They’ shouldn’t eat that meat because ‘we’ find it offensive.

Where does this lead? We know the answer — violence, fights, lynchings.

Clearly, the one university that has always been the torchbearer of the 'live and let live' policy is failing to implement the same within their own premises.


Is liberalism selective?

Are all of JNU's slogans meant for others — while they practice what they oppose?

Last updated: April 02, 2019 | 18:31
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