India: Petitioner seeks ban on song that allegedly incites to violence



Petitioner seeks ban on song
that allegedly incites to violence

The Indian super-hit song ‘Why This Kolaveri Di’ should be banned for its violent lyrics that “incite aggression”, stated a public interest litigation petition filed before the Kerala High Court.

The song ‘Why This Kolaveri Di’ is one of the most popular songs out of South India in recent times — and a worldwide sensation since it topped online music charts for its quirky mix of Tamil and English, called ‘Tanglish’.

The song was written and sung by actor Dhanush and released online on 16 November 2011 for the promotion of his Tamil movie ‘3’. Four months later, it crossed 50 million hits on YouTube and had practically been heard all over the world, despite it being in Tanglish. People have been coming up with their own renditions of the song, and the song has been reproduced in English, Hindi, Punjabi and Arabic, amongst others. Some have also remastered it in different genres, such as hip-hop and R&B, and also a popular children version.

“Violent lyrics should be banned”
M. Madaswamy, who is a postal assistant working at Peermede in Idukki and a Guinness Record holder for the longest speech marathon lasting 30 hours and 6 minutes, thinks the song should be prohibited for “badly influencing minds of young children”.

The Tamil word ‘Kolaveri’ means ‘killer rage’, and the title loosely translated means ‘Why do you have this murderous rage against me?’

Quoting a study by American Psychological Association, the petitioner stated that a song with “such violent lyrics” increases aggression-related thoughts and emotions, and this effect is directly related to the violence in the lyrics.

The petitioner submitted that in a series of five experiments involving over 500 college students, researchers from Iowa State University and the Texas Department of Human Sciences examined the effects of seven violent songs and eight non-violent songs. Results showed that violent songs led to more aggressive interpretations of ambiguously aggressive words. The violent songs increased feelings of hostility without provocation or threat, it was submitted.

Alleging that ‘Why This Kolaveri Di’ was also in the category of violent songs, Madaswamy said some schools in Tamil Nadu and Kerala were concerned over children singing it. The boys were using the song to tease the girls. The Central Board of Film Certification had granted certification to the movie without taking this into consideration, Madaswamy alleged.

Another film track song seeked banned
Bans on Bollywood songs are generally unheard of, writes Yousuf Saifuddin in the International Herald Tribune. But recently another popular song from the film ‘Housefull 2’ has been getting flak for its seemingly ‘immoral’ lyrics.

The song entitled ‘Anarkali disco chali’, from the Sajid Khan flick, is said to have upset the sentiments of a certain segment of society in India, who opine that the song’s frivolous take on the famous Salim-Anarkali love story might distort its history for the youth.



Times of India – 4 April 2012:

‘PIL alleges Kolaveri di is a bad influence on children’

Times of India – 4 April 2012:

‘Public Interest Litigation seeks ban on Kolaveri Di’

Times of India – continuously updated:

Stories in Times of India about ‘Kolaveri Di’

Latest news on this topic

Google News – continuously updated:

Search: “Why This Kolaveri Di”

Go to top
Related reading on