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Rapper Honey Singh's New Year concert cancelled by hotel after online campaign

Rapper Honey Singh's New Year concert cancelled by hotel after online campaign
Gurgaon A hotel in Gurgaon has cancelled rapper Honey Singh's performance tonight after online outrage over his misogynistic and offensive lyrics.

Through the day, an online petition, addressed to the management of Bristol Hotel, campaigned for the singer to be dropped on account of songs in the early phase of his career, which promote violence against women. (Read the petition here)

Those songs had gone unnoticed by many despite or perhaps because of Mr Singh's dazzling success this year. He has sung for Bollywood blockbusters like "Son of Sardar" and "Cocktail" and he had two of the ten most-searched for videos on YouTube in India this year (ndtv.com also carried a story on this - The problematic popularity of Honey Singh).

It was an article in Indian magazine Outlook (Poisonous Honey) that highlighted Mr Singh's earlier songs. After that, the online criticism surged.

One song, released in 2006, brags about the different ways in which the singer will sexually assault a woman.

The focus on his lyrics come as India mourns and introspects over the death of a young student who was gang-raped on a moving bus in Delhi.

The online petition says, "These pornographic lyrics are unacceptable and it is because of women hating (sic) 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."

Petitioners like Kalpana Misra, who spoke to NDTV today, said that the petition is addressed to the hotel and not to the singer because the idea is not to curb Mr Singh's right to express himself - no matter how offensive his lyrics may be - but because providing an audience for the singer is irresponsible.

In Lucknow, a police case was filed against Mr Singh by a local policemen. In his complaint, Amitabh Thakur, said the rapper's songs are "extremely vulgar, lewd and indecent and act as an offensive catalyst for crime against women".

(With inputs from agencies)
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