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Male Gaze, Fetish Objects and the Representation of Female Body in Indian Rapper Badshah’s “Genda Phool”



Partha Sarathi Mandal
PhD Research Scholar,
Raiganj University,
India

Abstract

Badshah in his "Genda Phool'' hasn't been able to become an adventurer in soul making much like Bob Dylan in "Chimes of Freedom" or Abbasuddin Ahmed in "Amay Bhasaili Re" as unlike these two legendary heart-touching songs which are at their best in portraying the various agathokakological entities of human life or in their earnest attempt to find out a metaphysical/philosophical understanding of our lives or in their upliftment of vasudhaiva kutumbakam("the world is one family") principle or in their projection of humanitarian equilibrium or in their thoughtful critical insights for the equal distribution of resources to the marginalized and proletarian working class people who belong to the boundary level of a power structure, Badshah's "Genda Phool'' virulently only projects erotic opprobrium, toxic masculinity and gender injustice. Amidst innumerable video adaptations, memes which are getting viral on social media of Indian rapper Badshah's "Genda Phool" which itself is a plagiarized content as the boastful rapper stole lyrics from an old Bengali folk song called "Boroloker Bitilo" without owing any credit to its original writer Kahar who belongs to "have nots" category (Marx in Wen 74).

Keywords: Adventurer, Soul, Toxic, Proletarian, Agathokakological 

"Genda Phool'' often fetishises or let's say it does also overemphasize the part over the totality; in case of the song a particular part of Jacqueline Fernandez's body is highlighted/zoomed violating the biological, anatomical, natural spontaneity of the totality of one breast or single breast and the funnel through which the pornographic vision or gaze is filtered is pure fetishistic schopophilia or the celebration of male gaze or what is called the veneration of male chauvinism. Badshah's machismo gets sadistic pleasures in lifting/installing profoundly lalochezia to the topoi of the song. This song is characterized as a species of masturbatory exhibitionism, an offensiveness further associated with the self-fashioning gestures of the petty bourgeoisie (Najarian 20). Is there any wonder that the rurban lyrics used by Badshah should be so autotelic, so autoerotic, so fetishistic and so stuck? The song centres around "phallogocentrism" (Derrida's term for the masculine power at the origin of the Law). The self-aggrandizing Tik Tok video makers, YouTube contents creators or the most viewed vloggers are sharing/uploading the various forms and adaptations of Badshah's "Genda Phool'' just for the sake of entertainment at a very cheap rate but during this period of global pandemic Corona, social isolation and quarantine my intellectual/ontological aristocracy is emblematically scrolling the smells of gender injustice, re-representation of stereotypical muliebrity, phallocentric monopoly, Centre/Periphery, Master/Slave dichotomy or the 21st century version of a She-tragedy in these very artistically/aesthetically poor adaptations or in Badshah's "Genda Phool'' itself.

This song is not a mouthpiece of Dalit, Adivasi or Minority women as the orbit of the song revolves around the lifestyle, flamboyance or the exaggerated larger-than-life imago of a rich daddy's princess who has a long and chubby hair. Is the song suitable for those marginalized women who belong to "[n]on hegemonic groups or classes." (Gramsci xiv). In "Can the Subaltern Speak" (1985) Spivak (1942) highlighted the subaltern existence of women and to Spivak subaltern women are doubly oppressed in colonial/postcolonial situation: "...the subaltern has no history and cannot speak, the female as female is more deeply in shadow." (271) The sexy butterfly tattoo on Jacqueline Fernandez's waist carries figuratively a political significance with it as it virulently/strategically unfolds the producer's hidden/camouflaged agenda, i.e. the commercialization of woman's body which is repeatedly/incessantly concocted in this song in the way of zooming the naked belly or the thumka of the projected women characters. Much like Honey Singh's controversial misogynistic "Blue Eyes", "Love Dose", "Choot" or Mamta Sharma and Wajid Ali's duet "Fevicol Se" Badshah, Jacqueline Fernandez and Payal Dev starrer "Genda Phool'' which has already been viewed over 180 million times on YouTube in the last 3 weeks juxtaposes two antithetical principles,i.e. boastful machismo and submissive effeminized existence of women in a patriarchal power structure where phallus is in the centre and women, marginalized/peripheralized voices are pushed at the periphery level. The defenestrated existence of women in rigid, authoritarian and dictatorial ambience of India's age-old surveiling patriarchal ethos has again been postulated in this song: "khelta nahi cricket cricket/ par teri le loon vicket vicket". These dangerously phallocentric lines triumphantly encashing male ego as used as lyrics in this song celebrate women as sex objects or rather baby producing machines I would like to say where "vicket" is a metaphor for male genital organ, i.e. phallus and these lines tell about the satisfaction of the carnal desires of the hero boy which will come only in physical mating with the "Genda Phool'' girl. Jacqueline Fernandez is not obviously ticking the boxes correctly of a RSS backed Good Mother concept as she is not portrayed as sanskari in this song; she will be tagged as a Bad Mother/ "Other" by a number of hypocrites who will be obviously having nocturnal emission when the skyrocketed confidence of their erect phallus will get its sadistic pleasures at the thumka, frenzied butt or the sizzling body of the lady character as presented in this song but these people with double tongues on the other hand will also start destructive gossiping about to and fro or ifs and buts of such an iconic actress like Jacqueline Fernandez only because she is woman as in the same way the staunch supporters of patriarchy backed by Fundamentalists and age-old watchdogs of phallocentric monopoly tag Sunny Leone as a Bad Mother, i e. the loopholes of the Mother India mythology as a bourgeois ideological construct (Morton 40).

Unlike my international crush Jennifer Lopez's radical feminist "Ain't Your Mama" which is at its best in its portrayal of such a powerful woman character who tried to break/devastate the sparagmos of a woman's identity by patriarchy; she does throw a challenge to the shackles of patriarchal oppression while my adolescent crush Jacqueline Fernandez's melodramatic "Genda Phool'' only churns out machismo or the submissive existence of women in patriarchy or women as objects of sex.The "dissociation of sensibility" cataloged by Badshah's imagery in "Genda Phool'' traces the dissociation of individual senses from each other in the absence of any intellectual Aufhebung into a logos. (Jay 88) Kudos to the presence of Bakhtinian carnivalesque elements in "Genda Phool'' or I would like to say this song also perambulates its precise and pointed adherence to heteroglossia (mixture of different voices and various cultural traditions) bacause Badshah, Jacqueline Fernandez and Payal Dev as projected in this video song belong not to a homogeneous cultural or socioeconomic background, their cultural identity is heterogeneous in nature. There are no transcendental signifiers in this song and like the iconic scene in Satyajit Ray's "Pather Panchali" (1955) where Durga and Apu crouch amid fields of towering kash grass watching a train rumble past towards the city there is no portrayal/projection of Kantian sublime, the wonderful domestic picturesque or the mesmerizing natural descriptions as the song called "Genda Phool'' primarily centres around breeding fantasies, feverish overidentification or ambitious projects jutted out from the stereotypical representation of a rich daddy's princess who is already always I guess charging the darkest fantasies or the wildest dreams of men since the publication of the song on YouTube. Economic utilitarianism reduces qualitative differences to quantitative difference and an abstract mathematical mind is at work in number crunching Badshah's treatment of various parts of the body of the female character presented in this song so numerically arranged in order and precisely calculated. Badshah owes his Rousseauistic camaraderie/brotherhood to Honey Singh as both these misogynistic rappers/singers in their songs present women as objects of sex; their music videos are the greatest triumph of toxic masculinity and male hubris. The objective corelatives are so strongly manifested in this song and the female character as played by Jacqueline Fernandez is a person with synaesthesia in the sense that whenever Badshah is casting a lusty eye at her sizzling and attractive body which itself is the production of a sense impression and as a result Jacqueline is feeling shy and is looking back at Badshah with a stimulated body language which is indicating that she is also desperate/hungry for love making with him.

Badshah is suffering from a Bloomian Anxiety of Influence in the sense that if he fails to stereotypically represent the cartography of the women's body used for men's carnal satisfaction and for penetration or anchoring "...in the bay where all men ride," (Shakespeare) he will be tagged as "Other" by his macho predecessors or by his contemporary misogynistic rappers who have again and again projected women as objects of men's sexual desires in their hits in order to worship toxic masculinity and male ego. "Body teri makkhan jaise" is an intertextual reference( Harold Bloom's insistence on Intertextuality) to "Main to tanduri main to tanduri murgi hoon yaar/Gatkale saiyan alcohol se oh yea" from "Fevicol Se" song. Amidst Shashi Tharoor's "Exasperating Farrago of Distortions" tweet (@ShashiTharoor) or when Brexit is short for "British exit" which would predictably flush catastrophic dysfunction to the financial fluidity of the global economy creating a very adverse situation for jobless youths or when the primetime political debates on national media have become a high decibel tu tu main main ("I am no less than you") or when consumerism operating in postmodern capitalism is mercilessly killing innocence and is creating dry burnt out cinders or when the pandemic Covid-19 is ruthlessly ravaging the world bracketing us in quarantine and social isolation then my Apollonian veracity in order to be intellectually impregnated by the Dionysian elements in Badshah's "Genda Phool'' reminded me of Head of the Department of English of Raiganj University Military Historian Professor Dr. Pinaki Roy's 2016 thoughtful insights on Tennyson's "The Lotus-Eaters" at CBPBU where the erudite scholar harvested my young brain by his critical explorations where he opined that in patriarchy whether a girl is beautiful or not always matters and "Genda Phool" which is also emblematic of "compulsory heterosexuality" (a term Butler borrowed from Adrienne Rich); this song is sandwiched between toxic masculinity and re-representation of women's body as objects of men's libidinal energy.

Works Cited

“Badshah Genda Phool.” YouTube, uploaded by Sony Music India. 26 Mar 2020, www.youtube.com/watch?v=SD4Z8dlZPd8. Accessed 23 April 2020.
“Bob Dylan – Chimes of Freedom.” YouTube, uploaded by Jefferson Davis. 13 Dec 2017, www.youtube.com/watch?v=mhGjx7T95lQ. Accessed 23 April 2020.
“Amay bhashaili re amay dubaili re by Abbasuddin Ahmed.” YouTube, uploaded by Kotha O Sur. 14 Jul 2015, www.youtube.com/watch?v=3ToiD5REw8s. Accessed on 23 April 2020.                                                           
“Blue Eyes Full Video Song Yo Yo Honey Singh.” YouTube, uploaded by T-Series. 8 Nov 2013,  www.youtube.com/watch?v=NbyHNASFi6U. Accessed on 23 April 2020.
“Exclusive: LOVE DOSE Full Video Song.” YouTube, uploaded by T-Series. 4 Oct 2014, www.youtube.com/watch?v=TvngY4unjn4. Accessed on 23 April 2020.
“Choot V1 Yo Yo Honey Singh.” YouTube, uploaded by Ap Gaming. 12 Sep 2019, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=itVTm5n96Dw. Accessed on 23 April 2020.
“Fevicol Se Full Video Song Dabangg 2 (Official).” YouTube, uploaded by T-Series. 9 Jan 2013, www.youtube.com/watch?v=zE7Pwgl6sLA. Accessed on 23 April 2020.
“Jennifer Lopez – Ain’t Your Mama.” YouTube, uploaded by Jennifer Lopez. 6 May 2016, www.youtube.com/watch?v=Pgmx7z49OEk. Accessed on 23 April 2020.
Spivak, Gayatri Chakravorty. “Can the Subaltern Speak?”. Marxism and the Interpretation of Culture, edited by Nelson and Larry Grossberg, University of Illinois Press, 1985, pp. 271-313.

Acknowledgement

I express my extreme gratitude and heartfelt thankfulness to my inspiration globally recognised Professor Dr. Saunak Samajdar ( Head of the Department of English, Cooch Behar Panchanan Barma University) and Military Historian Professor Dr. Pinaki Roy (Head of the Department of English, Raiganj University) for their unconditional love and motivation which tirelessly enlighten the path of my literary veracity.