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Indian Song ‘Munni’ Rocks Pakistan

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Download There is widespread distrust and hatred in Pakistan towards its neighbor, India, however, when it comes to music it’s a very different story.

Indian artists are hugely popular in Pakistan.

At the moment it’s this song “Munni badnam hui” a song from the Indian movie Dabang that is creating a storm in Pakistan.

It figures sexually explict lyrics about a girl and her disgraced boyfriend or ‘darling’.

As Yasser Khan reports it’s having an impact in some unusual places.


No wedding or function is considered complete without it.

It is heard blaring from cars and music shops everywhere and FM radio stations are swamped with requests to play it.

Zubair Ali is a host at a local FM radio station.

“I have received hundreds of requests for this song. We have to play this song Munni Badnam Hui almost every third song because our listeners insist on it. I think this song is the most popular Indian song in Pakistan in my living memory.” 

But the song has created trouble for girls who are called Munni, a common name in the subcontinent.

18-year-old Maria is a college student whose nick name is Munni. She left her studies because boys starting making fun of her due to the movie and song.

“While walking in my neighbourhood, I am always scared that someone will start singing the song. Most of the time my fears become reality and many boys either sing the song loudly or play it on their mobile phones. First, I didn't pay much attention and tried to ignore it, but then it became a routine and I started to get irritated. Finally, I couldn’t tolerate this behavior anymore and I left my college forever.’’

The lanugage in the song is sexually explict and talks about the girl Munni’s sexual pleasure with her boyfriend.

So girls with the name Munni are embarrassed by the song.

“Even sober and reserved people sing this song loudly while passing nearby me. I have scolded many of them but they just laugh and run away. They do it for fun. I don't understand how teasing someone can be fun for people. Since it became popular, my life becomes hell. I am sick of this now. I request the government to impose a complete ban on this song.”

But instead of banning it the politicans are quoting it.

At a party function, ruling Pakistan People's Party (PPP) leader Imtiaz Safdar Warraich used the song to criticize the opposition party.

“They (opposition party PML-N) are stealing public money. They spent huge amounts of money on lavish lifestyles and we are the government are criticized for their deeds. Our situation is such that we can only say, 'Munni badnam hui darling tere liye'."

This means in English, Munni is shamed by the disgraceful acts of her boyfriend or ‘Darling’.  

Punjab Law Minister Rana Sanaullah was quick to jump into the argument with another reference to the song.

“What a pity that Imtiaz Safdar called his party as ‘Munni’ and my party as ‘Darling’. This Munni is not getting a bad name because of darling but because of her own actions”."

Recently three police officers were suspended after they forced three women to dance to the song for five hours in a police station in Punjab province.

They asked the dancers to perform to the Malaika Arora song “Munni Badnam Hui” one by one.

Last Updated ( Monday, 31 January 2011 11:41 )  

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