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Another day, another problematic song...

Released as one of the soundtracks of the movie Josh in 2000, the song “Apun Bola tu Meri Laila” portrays one of the biggest issues females around the world face: consent. The entire song is based on Shahrukh Khan flirting with a woman who is visibly uninterested in him. The line “hoton pe na, dil mein haan hoinga” translates to how what the woman says does not matter. This

The popularity of the song proves how the majority of the audience does not find it problematic, which is an accurate representation of the mindset of most men around us. Despite being two decades old, the song is still streamed by thousands of people around the world. Given the problematic lyrics of the song, it should have been removed from all major streaming platforms including Spotify. It promotes a culture in which consent is not important and no does not mean no. This song could result in increased harassment by justifying non consensual encounters since it highlights how the woman might be thinking along the same line as the actor despite saying no verbally. This provides people around us with reasons and encourages them to ignore the wishes of females and doubt their intentions.

Apun Bola Tu Meri Laila

Woh Boli Fekta Hai Saala

Apun Jabhi Sachi Bolta

Ay Usko Jhoot Kai Ko Lagta Hai

Yeh Uska Style Hoinga

Hoton Pein Naa Dil Mein Haan Hoinga

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These problematic songs have been a major part of Bollywood since beginning. But unfortunately they were never criticized by any media celebrities. There are a lot of blockbuster movies which have a lot of problematic songs. These kind of songs encourage harassment. I remember the opening song "O jaana" in the superhit movie "Tere Naam". The line in the song, "Pyaar me nah ka matlab ha han", means that no means yes and it just destroys the concept of consent and clearly encourages harassment. Bollywood must be questioned now and these kind of problematic content must be discouraged. We have suffered enough now.


Problematic songs and Bollywood is a never-ending tale. As a child, there were so many songs which I loved listening to and growing up made me realize how problematic they were. One of the common themes which I found in all of them was how Bollywood encouraged the idea that a girl saying "no" does not mean "no" - and, instead it is a "yes" in disguise. Here is an example of a very popular song, "Haseena maan jaayegi":

"Kab tak rutheygi, cheekhegi, chilaayegi,

Dil kehta hai aik din haseena maan jaayegi"

Such songs can have dire consequences - they are responsible for why people fail to understand the concept of consent and the fact that "no means no". Here…

Replying to

You have given some very accurate examples of songs that are highly problematic. I also found the article you attached really interesting because it shows the significance music has on people and how something can end up being dangerous for people involved.


Reading your post actually reminded me of so many Bollywood songs with such derogatory lyrics. It's not like we haven't listened to these songs, all of these are so famous and we all have grown up listening to them but have never realized how problematic they are. One such song that comes to my mind is "garam chai ki piyali ho". The lyrics literally say:

"Ek garam chai ki piyali ho

Koi usko pilane wali ho

Raat ko jab mein wapis aon

Woh darwaza khole

Sajke mere saamne aye

Saare din ki thakan mitaye..

Woh meri gharwaali ho"

These lines actually make me cringe now that I look at them. They are literally showing women as a means of doing…

Replying to

I remember always finding this song highly problematic. It's really concerning how youngsters even nowadays listen to this song and fail in recognising the significance of such lyrics on the listeners. Thank you for pointing it out!

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