Recent Bollywood movie, Dabangg 2, opens a window into Indian Culture through a story of lust and political sabotage. Protagonist officer Chulbul Pandey, played by Salman Khan, demonstrates the duality of male culture. In uniform, the officer acts against the culture of domination by breaking the legs and neck of a man caught harassing a woman. But out of uniform, he encourages the disposal of women in the ‘Fevicol Se’ brothel scene. Pandey’s duality upholds the hidden and officially “forbidden” side of Indian culture. The careless use of women as instruments of pleasure only promotes rape, eve-teasing.This false display of women in Bihar suggest that both single women and housewives ought to accept a nature of surrender to male dominance. Furthermore, laxity becoming the norm, young women are more often expected to assume a carefree attitude, further forcing these ideals into society.
While Dabangg 2 and “Fevicol Se” are set in Bihar, a hub of prostitution, the fundamental problem is much more widespread. This one song gives only a glimpse into the present degradation of women in Indian society. And sadly, as Bollywood media of this sort is becoming normal, the duality of male dominance is pushing deeper into the heart of our culture.
The song, ‘Chipkale Saiyan Fevicol se’ (Hey Love! You Can Glue Me On) sung by Mamta Sharma and others, perfectly depicts the corruption of male culture in India. Set in Bihar, India, the music video is filmed in a brothel, where prostitutes earn their living dancing seductively around whistleblowers. It’s catchy, upbeat tune is provocative, attracting a large male audience to the film. Women in the music video are dressed in skin tight clothes, with garlands in their hair and compulsory red lipstick. The video’s extensive female objectification promotes physical surrender to males’ dominating drive for pleasure, and merely betrays the unfortunate reality of everyday life for many Indian women.
Along with the visual , the song’s lyrics also depict a woman compulsively adhering to the expectations a male dominated culture by giving way to seductive charm. The dancer exposes her belief that femininity is defined by male attention when she sings the following:
“O my friend, stick my photo to your chest with Fevicol,
I have been ready for a long time
Persuade me by giving me a missed call.
Stick my photo to your chest using Fevicol
External factors demand the woman have an easygoing personality, swayed by just a missed call. Beyond personality, the item girl is further devalued in the following lyrics:
Come my king, let me show you the heaven
I set fire to the cold water
I am a barbecue hen.
Swallow me along with alcohol, oh my beloved.
Stick my photo to your chest with Fevicol
The lyrics speaks of the ultimate saleable existence of women. By comparing herself to meat and alcohol, she makes herself something consumable–disposable. She promises to satisfy one man’s hunger for one evening, knowing that the hunger will return in the morning. By Taping a picture to his chest, she demonstrates that their connection is merely superficial. She is making a desperate and failing attempt to fulfill her need for a heart connection, by placing a fabricated image of herself near, yet just outside his heart.