India’s top comedy group, AIB (All India Bakchod), released a new parody song with Kangana Ranaut on Monday, taking aim at the male-chauvinism that runs rampant through India’s Glamour Industry. Titled “Bollywood Diva Song“, the group took on the underlying hypocrisy in the “modern” avatar that is portrayed for audiences, when in reality the stereotypical attitudes against women have remained alive and festering under the surface. The song depicts the difficulties that many actresses face while working in Bollywood, because they are, quite simply, women.
Known for her outspoken personality, Kangana is no stranger to controversy – and we love her for it! The parody was done in order to promote her upcoming movie, Simran, which releases on the 15th of September. The song also hits back at the recent controversy that engulfed Kangana when she accused Karan Johar for nepotism. If you haven’t yet seen the song, now is the time to stop reading this article, because we’re about to break it down for you. SPOILER ALERT!
Subtle pointers regarding the obvious disparity in the treatment of both genders are present from the start of the song, when the light-boy is instructed to ensure the light fully illuminates the male lead (“marad”) on set in all his glory. Kangana is shown being handed a role of toilet paper that represents the terrible quality of the dialogue and the lack of depth in the character most female actors are made to play, as compared to the male lead. When she dares to go up to the Director to protest, he does not even remember who she is (even when she tells him she is the female lead) until she brings up “love interest” and his memory comes aflame. Kangana’s character is supposed to be a physicist in the “movie”, researching on quantum physics, but her dialogues in the song only amount to “mere seenay pe malde iodex honton se”; yet the director brushes her concerns aside with a mixture of condescension and amusement;,before completely dropping all pretense at cordiality by calling her a “diva” behind her back as he bitches about her with his assistant.
This over the top depiction of little value female stars have in the business was a refreshing take on all the sexist shit most working women face at their jobs on a daily basis. The next scene quickly highlights the hypocrisy of that statement, as the hero makes his entry on a background score of Kabhi Khushi Kabhi Gham’s title song. The scene where Jaya Bachan waits for SRK holding a thaali in her hand is re-enacted with the director taking on the role of J.B, waiting for the hero to make his grand entrance. This nearly-godly reverence most lead actors receive in Bollywood, as compared to their female co-stars, has been commented on time and again by different female actors, most noticeably Kangana Ranaut (obviously).
When the director eventually does cut out the offensive line but only because the actor suggests the exact same thing as Kangana, and she can hardly contain her fury. A backup dancer tells Kangana to let it go and just grin and bear it, but she has too much self-respect to do either. She refuses to play second-fiddle to the much older male lead she is paired up with; something which she is known for when choosing scripts in real life as well. What follows is an amazing song that is on the same tune as the 2015 mega-hit “Chittiyan Kalaiyan”, calls out not only the blatant sexism common to the industry but also all the different obstacles that Kangana has faced as a result.
Here are some of our favorite lines from this super cool song
The song calls out the culture of flattery and nepotism (again taking a shot at her feud with K. Jo), turns the spotlight on the media that prints women in sultry poses (such as TOI printing a picture of Deepika’s cleavage without her consent in 2014), and highlights the body shaming that comes as part and parcel of the Glamour industry, where actresses are forced to follow a strict eating regimen to keep in shape.
In addition, the song very cleverly highlights the disparity between treatment of either genders with regards to age. Once an actress gets married, her career is considered doomed; yet male actors continue to remain strong, even romancing the daughters of their (past) female leads and the newest actresses to enter the industry, regardless of the decades of disparity in age.
AIB also highlighted the word feminazi, and the intention that is behind using such a word: shutting the woman up, and making her opinions seem like those of an irrational, crazy person. Women are always depicted as being emotional, without a shred of logic in their empty heads, and normal bodily functions such as PMS, Menstruation and Pregnancy are used against them.
Our favorite part of the entire song, though, is the last scene, where she is asked how she became so courageous, how are her statements always so ballsy and she is so “mardaani”? As if having balls and being “mardaani” is such a compliment. They’re the weakest part of a man’s body. Honestly, why are we always compared to men, even when we are going through righteous indignation or are being passionate about how we feel? A man might be referred to as a boss; a woman is always referred to as a crazed bitch. And if she dares to be opinionated or know what she wants, then she is very easily replaced or disgraced or demoted or transferred. Women with opinions are called “divas” or “crazy”, told to “talk about it later”, and their “no” is interpreted as a “yes” on numerous occasions, citing characteristics such as “inherent shyness”… Double standards!
We’re going to just leave this here. Bask in the glory of the latest AIB song, that is like a breath of fresh air to all women out their, struggling with numerous obstacles everyday because they belong to the “weaker” gender. Thank you, AIB, for using your platform to spread such strong messages of gender equality, and calling society out for its hypocrisy.