Throwback Thursday: We Revisited Akeli Na Bazar Jaya Karo And It’s A Song About Harassment And Non-Consensual Touching
If you’re a woman living in India, I can bet you’ve had several incidences when your physical boundaries felt violated in a public space. I hate to generalise, so I won’t. I will not say that all men are out there to disrespect women. But the number of such shady men is big, to say the least. Which is why, when we are out and about, we always feel the need to protect ourselves. We hold our bags in front of our breasts, we step aside if we see a man walking in our direction and in a crowded spot, and we quietly scrunch ourselves into corners to occupy as little space as possible. And shamefully, that’s become normal for us. And it has been this way for a while. And while right now we are upsetting the apple cart by talking about songs, movies and trailers that reek of misogyny, we just recently stumbled upon something horrifying. I feel astonished as to how nobody found these things offensive then. So recently, I came across the video of Ajay Devgn and Sonali Bendre’s song Akeli Na Bazar Jaya karo from Major Saab, and I was left feeling enraged.
Ajay Devgn sings to Sonali Bendre, Akeli na bazar jaya karo, nazar lag jaayegi which basically means that if she goes to the market alone, she will attract the attention of shady men. The lyrics are hideous AF, which basically aim at curbing the mobility and freedom of women, because men just can’t seem to keep it in their pants. But what really baffles me is that he is being exactly the kind of guy he is warning her against. Or maybe worse. Because this guy isn’t just staring creepily at her but violating her personal space shamelessly. Initially, he begins by standing too close to her face, tugging at her scarf and it further progresses to him eventually hugging her, without consent.
Consent is a concept alien to him and the hooligans he has been hanging out with, as they gang up on the actress in the song. In the entire song, nothing he does to her is with her consent and somehow that’s supposed to be romantic? Or funny? I don’t see it. From rubbing his creepy hands on her stomach to lifting her up, he touches her several times and it can be easily classified as assault. Yet, he’s the hero and that’s his style of flirting. How?
You think this harassment would end there, but like any unchecked assaulter, his shenanigans keep getting worse as the song progresses. Also, Ajay Devgn sticks a sign on Sonali Bendre’s butt which reads “1st Prize Lucky Draw”, objectifying her unabashedly and at this point, putting her up for grabs as a prize. I can’t even…
Once he is done with that, he gets increasingly aggressive, and if this was happening for real, the woman would either detach his balls or break down completely. From dragging her by hair, drowning her in garbage to slapping her right across her face and flinging her like a puppet, this gets downright disturbing.
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He claimed to be in love with her and yet he harassed her, objectified her, ridiculed the concept of consent and physically assaulted her. All this, to win her love. How can Bollywood romanticise harassment? No, that’s not flattering and it’s definitely not making any woman go like ‘Aww, this is the love of my life.’ If anything, this song is just one stanza away from making a sex slave of her. Such detrimental representation has encouraged men to claim women as their prize and treat us like personal property. Akeli na bazar jaya karo is not a song about love but rather a safety hazard. It is an attempt at curbing the progress made by the society to safeguard our rights, and reduce the number of sexual crimes against women. We don’t need these, thanks!