Item Songs Debate, Are We Hypocrites ?

  •                                      "Item Songs Show Women Surrendering to Male Gaze"

                                                                           Shabana Azmi

    Item numbers or songs have been part of our lives from the way back to the golden age of Pakistani cinema when we had our films liked by millions in Asia and in the world but that did not stay long cause our filmmakers started to prioritize Vulgarity and skin showing or should i say Thumkas of huge aunties over good story line and production. Our cinema went dark and non existent in no time. That is when we turned ourselves to Bollywood. The word that is engraved in our lives more than we notice.

    Bollywood filmmakers started to realize the potential an item number carries and started to make them bigger and better than ever. Most of the Bollywood movies got publicity and crowd pulling just from one song. The item numbers came to so much important in Bollywood that even Khans needed to put them in their movies. I mean come one, what could have been Dabangg without Munni Badnaam or How Only Tees Maar Khan grossed at the box office based on the popularity of Shiela Ki Jawani.

    Now those songs were huge in our country and that is only the rim of the bucket there are huge lists. Even a 3 year old in Pakistan sings and dances to Munni Badnaam or Shiela ki Jawani, the other day i was watching an interview of a filmmaker who said that there was an era in Bollywood that producers first asked about the item number than story.

    Coming to our own Film Industry which is still new but getting bigger so quickly and it got back on its steps for the reason it was popular for, impressive and hard hitting story lines. But ask yourself can you watch a depressed movie every weekend with your family, the answer is no. We already live in not very good times where our country faces so much troubles and we only go to cinemas to pay and forget the outside for a while.

    Pakistani filmmakers adopted item songs from the very beginning of the revival and honestly we are getting very good at it. Item song does not mean it has to be skin showing or it has to be vulgar. It can be done in a good way. I have to include the Zhalay sarhadi song in Jalaibee and Saba Qamar in Lahore se Agay. Both songs were very dignified and good. But there are other songs like billi and recent Kaif o Saroor that carried way more budget and skin showing but which song is more popular Zhalay sarhadi's song or Kaif o Saroor. You maybe do not even know Item song from jalaibee because it had no vulgarity, no skin showing. And billi which was a huge song and played important role in making Na maloom Afraad a Hit.

    Now People calling it Fahashi, isn't it fahashi when your 3 year old sings to Munni badnaam. Isn't it fahashi when we watch and enjoy these songs with all of our families and when the same is offered by our own industry just because they belong it our country it we call it fahashi, we pin point girls and call them out with bad names, but we compliment actresses from across the border and tell each other how good they are.
                                                                         Are we hypocrites really?
    We love their songs so much but we hate it so much when we get same products in our country.
    Everybody believes in what they believe in and everybody has a voice but why are the same voices have so much praise to shower on the songs from across the border and have so much hate for Their own.
    I will leave for you to answer.
    Share your thoughts down below