New Delhi: A Gurgaon-based hotel on Monday cancelled rapper Honey Singh's performance on Monday night, on New Year's eve, following wide-spread online rage against his "misogynistic" lyrics.
In the wake of the recent outrage against Delhi gang-rape, a group of social activists had filed an online petition protesting against a performance by Honey Singh, alleging his lyrics were offensive towards women.
The petition filed by one Kalpana Misra via Change.org had appealed for a ban on the Punjabi rapper's New Year's eve performance at a Gurgaon hotel on Monday.
"These pornographic lyrics are unacceptable and it is because of women-hating sentiments like these that men think that it's fine to do what they did on that bus, that December night in Delhi.
"Let's put a stop to these subversive lyrics that infiltrate the minds of people who don't know better and who then justify to themselves the rightness of a crime that harms another human being, sometimes so severely that they lose their lives," the petition stated.
Earlier in the day, when contacted, the Bristol hotel had said they would go ahead with the performance as scheduled and that they were not aware of any such petition. "The Honey Singh performance is on. It starts at 8 p.m.," a source within the hotel had said. But moments ago, they decided to cancel the performance following pressure from the public.
The rapper was unavailable for comment.
Honey Singh raps mostly in a mix of English and Punjabi and has lent his voice to recent Bollywood films like 'Khiladi 786', 'Cocktail' and 'Luv Shuv Te Chicken Khurana'.
Outrage against the rapper and his derogatory songs have been pouring on social networking sites like Facebook and Twitter for the past few day
The online petition, "GM of The Bristol Hotel Gurgaon India: Stop Honey Singh's performance", has been posted following the death of a 23-year-old victim of a brutal gang-rape in Delhi.
Honey Singh's songs like "Lak 28 kudi da", "Brown rang" and "Angrezi beat" are peppy and popular among masses. But it is his 2006 song "Ch**t", which has been pinpointed in the petition by Kalpana Mishra on www.change.org.
The webpage reads: "The nation is outraged at the ease with which rape happens, at the unnecessary death of a young woman whose entire life lay before her. We know that these rapes occur because in the India of today rape is acceptable to many men."
Even filmmaker Kunal Kohli is against Honey Singh's gig.
"Honey Singh should not be allowed to perform in India. To write lyrics like that is disgusting, to be allowed to perform them, a shame. Come on Gurgaon, show the world, boycott Honey Singh, two days after Nirbhaya/Damini dies, you can't let him sing such lewd songs," Kohli posted on Twitter.
FIR against Honey Singh
An FIR was on Monday lodged against Honey Singh for offensive lyrics in some of his songs.
The FIR was lodged by Gomti Nagar police on the complaint of IPS officer Amitabh Thakur, police sources said here.
In his complaint, Thakur alleged that the songs were "extremely vulgar, lewd and indecent and act as an offensive catalyst for crime against women".
The FIR has been registered under sections 292, 293 and 294 of the IPC that are related to obscenity offences.
28-year-old Honey Singh raps mostly in a mix of English and Punjabi and has lent his voice in recent Bollywood films like 'Khiladi 786', 'Cocktail' and 'Luv Shuv Te Chicken Khurana'.
Outrage against the rapper and his derogatory songs have been pouring on social networking sites like Facebook and Twitter for the past few days.
Some Delhi clubs cancel celebrations, incur losses
Some called famed disc jockeys, some planned lavish buffets - but several clubs and pubs across the capital have either cancelled their New Year eve celebrations or have toned them down as a homage to the 23-year-old Delhi gang-rape victim, who died Saturday.
Few admit they have incurred losses.
Cibo, a popular restaurant in Hotel Janpath, has decided to cancel its special New Year celebrations as a mark of respect to the victim of the Dec 16 gang-rape.
"We have cancelled the celebrations because we are concerned with what has happened. There will just be a lavish buffet and the in-house DJ, who is always there," Sanjeev Uppal, director, Cibo, told IANS.
"We are facing a loss of around 50 percent as we had to cancel the advance bookings. The prices have also been reduced to 70 percent," Uppal added.
Roshanara Club in Roshanara Gardens, has also called off its New Year bash.
"We have cancelled the celebrations because of the death of the gang-rape victim," Rakesh Jain, secretary administration, Roshanara Club, said.
Admitting the loss in business, he said: "Although we are not a profit-making organisation, we had to return the advance money we got from bookings. We have suffered loses of around Rs.2 lakh."
The capital's popular Taj Palace hotel also planned a quiet evening, with celebrations just for in-house guests.
"The decoration and celebrations are very low profile. There has to be some minimum celebration for in-house guests," said a source from Taj Palace.
The Soi Thai restaurant in Vasant Vihar has planned a quiet celebration with pianist Robert Tamang, who will play at the event.
The Metropolitan Hotel & Spa on Bangla Sahib Road, is also going in for a cosy evening with a wide variety of food to be served for the guests. Rajesh Khanna, head, food and beverage, says he has taken special security measures for the safety of the guests.
New Year celebrations have been cancelled in many residential areas and other institutions too.
The Indira Gandhi National Open University (IGNOU) will not celebrate New Year, and instead hold a candle-light march. Even the Indian Army has called off plans for a get-together.
However, hotels like Leela Kempinski, Bristol Hotel, Gurgaon, and Hotel Lalit are going ahead with their celebrations.
While Leela Kempinski will see model-actress Claudia Ciesla and Master Salim entertaining people, Bristol has Punjabi rapper Honey Singh performing.
There is maximum buzz around Indo-Canadian porn star Sunny Leone's performance at Hotel Lalit.
Several hotspots in places like Hauz Khas Village, DLF Promenade, Gurgaon and Noida too are hosting special nights with music, food and drinks. But most places are expected to stop serving liquor by 1 a.m.
Yet the question remains -- Will the party be on?