‘Khaali Peeli’: A Bollywood tune referring to Beyoncé has its lyrics modified after backlash over colorism


The lyrics have sparked outrage on social media over colorism, which is discrimination primarily based on the colour of somebody’s pores and skin, and compelled filmmakers to alter the lyrics for a second time.

As a result of the movie had not sought permission from the singer to make use of her trademarked identify, the tune first modified its spelling from “Beyoncé” to “Beyonse.” Nonetheless, after criticism that the lyrics are racist, the tune’s chorus will change to say, “Watching you, oh fair-skinned lady, the world can be ashamed.”

“(The) lyric in query was by no means supposed racially,” the movie’s director Maqbool Khan mentioned in an announcement on Monday, including that the movie’s makers have been large followers of Beyoncé and had not meant any disrespect.

Bollywood might spare Beyoncé, her pores and skin and her dance strikes from its scrutiny, nonetheless, the Hindi movie business’s obsession with mild pores and skin has been long-standing and critics say it promotes shade prejudice. It is rooted in India’s historic choice for equity.

A number of songs over a long time glorify mild pores and skin, which is taken into account a lovely function in films the place a hero falls for a heroine.

In a tune referred to as “Chittiyan Kalaiyaan,” or “Gentle-Skinned Wrists,” the lady’s character dances to a tune asking the person to take her procuring and to the flicks as a result of she’s light-skinned.

One other tune referred to as “Dil Dance Maare Re” blatantly begins with, “Seeing a white face, my coronary heart beats quicker.”

Within the Nineteen Nineties, the hit tune “Kala Chashma,” or “Black Shades,” was concerning the singer’s admiration for a girl and the way nice black shades regarded on her honest pores and skin. It was just lately remixed and located widespread recognition.

A tune from the ’60s has a person swooning over a fair-skinned lady, asking her to not low cost him for his darkish pores and skin as a result of he loves her.

Why the outrage now?

The phrase “goriya” means “light-skinned lady,” but it surely’s utilized in popular culture typically to deal with girls. It is akin to utilizing the phrase “child” or “lady” in English-language songs, however with clear tones of colorism which might be so deeply entrenched, they do not elevate any eyebrows.

Khan alluded to this rationalization in his apology.

“The time period ‘goriya’ (honest lady in Hindi) has been so usually and historically utilized in Indian songs to deal with a woman, that it did not happen to any of us to interpret it in a literal method,” he mentioned.

A number of films and songs over the previous few years have had lyrics modified following backlash. Some songs have been criticized by spiritual teams, some by caste communities.

However with the Black Lives Matter motion now making a worldwide influence, public outrage has been loud sufficient that filmmakers have listened.


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