Unless Honey Singh is your child’s local guardian, he owes you nothing

I was aimlessly going through my Facebook newsfeed yesterday, when this ‘Open letter to Honey Singh from a parent’ popped up. Of course I have to click on anything that says ‘Honey Singh’ and open letter, and more so when they call out to me from the same link.

 Unless Honey Singh is your child’s local guardian, he owes you nothing

Honey Singh is not responsible for your child's upbringing

The long and short of the letter is thus – the writer is ‘thanking’ Mr. Singh for doing away with the need to discover the legacy that Saahir, Khayyam and Kishore Kumar have left behind. He accuses Honey Singh for stealing unsuspecting children’s innocence by singing and dancing about vodka and sex. Fair enough.

The contents of the letter weren’t surprising, and neither was the argument very original. Anupama Chopra had expressed the same concern to Singh in person when he was a guest on her show – she said the thought of her 15-year-old son singing ‘Blue Eyes’ aloud made her uncomfortable.

Is there some sort of parental revolution against Honey Singh in the making?

If there is one, carry on without me. Not because I love Yo! Yo!’s music, but because I think he doesn’t owe your children a good upbringing. You do.

Growing up, I had my share of lewd, scandalous songs that my parents wanted me to avoid at all costs. I had to deal with the likes of 'Sexy Sexy Sexy Mujhe Log Bolein' or 'Chadh Gaya Upar Re' – songs I wanted to sing aloud without any understanding of the lyrics' innuendoes. But my parents tried being human shields whenever possible, trying to minimize my chances of hearing such music by generally being aware of what I consumed on TV. Even then, they knew they could only do so much, and let it go at a point.

Since my parents had a problem with some of the songs I was exposed to, they are the ones who tried to ensure I would know a 'good' song from a 'bad' song. They didn't blame Karisma Kapoor or Bollywood for corrupting me, because Ms Kapoor never signed up to be a good influence on my life in the first place.

Considering times have changed since when I was a child, today's parents might find 'regulating' their child's media habits  slightly more difficult with the internet making access to pop culture so easy. However, does that make Honey Singh a national parent? Is it his fault that parents can't get their children to appreciate the finer nuances of Madan Mohan’s compositions?

Maybe parents need to stop holding Singh and the rest of the world responsible for how their children turn out. While the writer’s discomfort with his children enjoying Honey Singh’s music may not be unfounded, banning children from listening to his music will make matters only worse.

So why not sit your children down and explain why Honey Singh isn't the best of influences? It’s never too early to teach boys the importance of respecting women and why drinking four bottles of vodka each night isn’t the best life choice (regardless of gender), much less singing and dancing about it. And let’s please not overreact to ‘Lungi Dance’; it’s not even offensive. There is much worse your children are exposed to in a mall on a Sunday evening, like watching adults egging on their kids to put up a performance to ‘Halkat Jawani’ for a cash prize of Rs. 2,000.

How your kids turn out is no one's fault; sometimes not even your own. Honey Singh is a 'musician' and a businessman. Writing an open letter blaming him for everything wrong with children today is easy; he’s an easy target to hold responsible.

And if you’re going to wash your hands off all parental responsibility, don't just blame Singh. Make sure your child also doesn’t stop by a cinema, surf the internet, make friends, watch the news, look at deodorant ads, eat iced lollies ever again in order to have a complete, holistic, innocent and entirely unnatural childhood.

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Updated Date: Jul 22, 2014 17:08:38 IST