Bollywood singer gets death threats over use of 'Radha' in song; refuses to bow down

Feb 07, 2017, 10:00 IST | Mohar Basu

Music composer-rapper Raool refuses to drop song line about Radha in the new single 'Desi Girls Do It Better' despite allegedly getting death threats from rightwingers

Rapper Raool

In their new single, Desi Girls Do It Better, rapper Raool and co-artiste and Punjabi sensation Jaz Dhami, are paying a tribute to women. But rightwingers have misconstrued their best intensions, say the artistes. A line from the song — Mandir ki Radha ko pooje tu kya, Ghar mein gali mein jo rehti hai Radha, Aaya hai waqt usse pujne ka...’ — speaks of the double-faced Indian tradition of hailing shakti and goddesses, but practicing misogyny.

Raool said, “They have a problem with the reference to Radha. It all started with hate comments on YouTube [for the video]. And before I knew it, I started receiving death threats on phone. But I won’t let this freak me out. So far, we haven’t approached the police for additional security.”

While he says India is known for her tolerance, the presence of some extremists is instilling fear. The backlash, though, hasn’t surprised him. “A lot of major music production firms had requested us to drop the line. But we didn’t budge. Hip-hop is not all item number and masala. It’s considered to hold a mirror to society. At the very least, the line is triggering necessary discussion. Our lyrics often take on subjects ranging from obsession with fair skin to the way women are subjugated. We won’t change the line under any circumstance,” he said.

The problem line

A line from the song — 'Mandir ki radha ko pooje tu kya, Ghar mein gali mein jo rehti hai radha, Aaya hai waqt usse pujne ka...' — speaks of the double-faced Indian tendency to hail Shakti and pray to goddesses but practise misogyny.

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