The National Commission for Women has sent a notice to film producer Arbaaz Khan for using derogatory words against women in the song Fevicol Se in his latest film, Dabangg 2.
Khan’s lawyer visited the commission’s office in New Delhi on Wednesday and sought time to file a reply to the notice.
About a week ago, the commission asked Mumbai police commissioner Satyapal Singh to seek an explanation from Khan. NCW officials said almost three weeks had passed but Khan and his lawyer were still to reply.
The NCW sent the notice after a tehsildar from North India complained about the song. He objected to the line ‘laundiya patayenge miss call se’.
The NCW also wrote to Pankaja Thakur, CEO of the Central Board of Film Certification, saying producers should not be allowed to use abusive words.
“People must learn to respect women instead of using abusive words against them or depicting them in a bad way in film songs,” Nirmala Samant-Prabhavalkar, member of the NCW, said. “The matter is serious. We sought an explanation from Arbaaz Khan but he hasn’t replied to date.”
The commissioner confirmed that he received a letter from the NCW. “I have directed an officer to take appropriate action,” he said.
Asha Bajpai, a law professor at the TISS said, “Films influence society. Filmmakers should be careful.”
Laundiya: Acceptable term?
DNA spoke to several language experts about the usage of the word “laundiya”. While most said it is used commonly to refer to girls, some said it carries a negative connotation, and some others said the word can be traced back to the Mughal era.
Sheetala Prasad Dubey, professor and head of the Hindi department at KC College, said: “Launda refers to boys and Laundiya to girls. You will find them in the local dialect in Uttar Pradesh and adjoining areas. I am not sure about the origin but it is used in the negative sense.”
Famous Hindi scholar and professor Ramji Tiwari said: “Launda and laundiya were used for dancers centuries ago. They are still used. While it is derogatory in eastern UP, in the western part people use it for their sons and daughters.”
Ratan Kumar Pandey, head of Mumbai University’s Hindi department, said the word has a Persian origin and was used for helpers in the Mughal durbar. “Gradually, people started calling women dancers laundiya. The word is definitely offensive though it is used in villages of UP.”