Honey Singh, one of bhangra music’s most iconic stars, has spoken out against the recent uproar caused over offensive lyrics of some of his songs that led to a scheduled show being cancelled in Gurgaon in the aftermath of the brutal gang rape that took place in India’s capital city, Delhi.
The Punjabi rapper was forced to cancel his New Year’s Eve show scheduled in Gurgaon following public outrage over certain lyrics to his songs that have been termed offensive towards women. With an online campaign underway against the rapper, activists have also lodged an FIR against him in Lucknow on Monday.
The Delhi gang rape that led to the death of the 23-year-old victim has raised the issue of increasing violence against women in this South Asian country and placed India in the international spotlight. Responding to the allegations, Honey Singh said: “Before you blame me, blame the government for not taking action against the rapists in the first place! Don’t use me as an excuse.
“#HoneySinghIsInnocent – trend if you’re with me! I’ve admitted that my past was a wrong choice, but now I deliver completely different music.”
Mr Singh’s manager, Anup Kumar, has denied claims that the Gurgaon show was cancelled due to the outrage caused over the singer’s offensive lyrics and instead stated that the cancellation was an act of solidarity for the Delhi gang rape victim.
He told Indian news agency PTI: “We did not cancel the show because of this petition and FIR. We cancelled it in the wake of Delhi gang rape issue. This is not the first concert we are cancelling in Delhi after that horrific incident. We had also cancelled our much publicised December 25 event.”
However, the hotel itself has refuted such claims. The Bristol Hotel in Gurgaon where Mr Singh’s show was scheduled to be held has maintained that the event was cancelled due to the mounting agitation over the star’s offensive lyrics. The hotel has also stated that the cancellation was a decision by the management and not by Mr Singh.
Mr Singh has released a public notice that claims that he is not the author of the lyrics and has threatened legal action against media outlets playing the videos/songs: “Honey Singh wishes to clarify through this notice that he has no connection whatsoever with the said songs. My client has already written to various digital platforms to immediately take down the video/songs and is also considering appropriate legal action for defamation, loss of reputation and violation of privacy”.