Beyoncé Sharma Jayegi. For Real.

‘Beyoncé Sharma Jayegi’ adds ‘Goriye’ and ‘Beyoncé’ in the same breath, leaving Twitter and its netizens furious.

A still from the song 'Beyonce Sharma Jayegi'

Ek ladka. Ek ladki. Ek maha delusion.

It is 2020, and with #BlackOutTuesday smattered all over their Instagram pages, or at least squeezed between essential lockdown mopping-moping videos, Bollywood finally seems to have arrived. Further, with celebrities suddenly growing a conscience, and dissing the Fair and Lovely business, it only made sense for the business to rechristen itself.

Cut to the entry of the all new “Glow and Lovely” packed with the goodness of performative woke culture, and carefully handpicked hypocrisy extracts. Much like Bollywood itself.

Just when we thought the film industry would have learned a lesson, and in the wake of the Black Lives Matter movement is ready to turn over a new, inclusive leaf, they springed yet another affirmation on us – Beyoncé Sharma Jayegi.

Yep, that’s the song Ishan Khatter and Ananya Pandey are seen unapologetically frolicking to in bright, sequinned costumes, while the world is busy fostering an emerging, dynamic, unrelenting discourse on colourism.

Beyoncé Sharma Jayegi'’ is the first song of Ishaan Khatter, and Ananya Panday starrer, 'Khaali Peeli'’. It has been written by Kumaar and Raj Shekhar, sung by Nakash Aziz and Neeti Mohan, and has been composed by Vishal-Shekhar.

Beyoncé Sharma Jayegi. For Real.

Unhappy Twitterati

And of course, the Internet isn’t happy. Netizens think this song is “racist”.

Now, it would have been terribly flaky of them to think so, if it weren’t for Ishan Thakkar serenading his lady love, after every six lines, with:

“Tujhe dekh ke, Goriya... Beyonce Sharma Jayegi,”
Beyoncé Sharma Jayegi. For Real.

Who is Beyoncé You Ask?

Other than being the ‘First Lady of Pop’, Beyoncé is slowly transforming herself to a cultural icon. Sure she’s had her share of controversies, but even Michelle Obama is a fan.

“You can see it in everything she does, from her music that gives voice to Black joy and Black pain, to her activism that demands justice for Black lives,” the former first lady has said about Beyoncé in the past.

Beyoncé was recently lauded for her short-film style music video of 'Brown Skin Girl', that featured brown women across cultural and national barriers.

The powerful track has an African infused beat and features Guyanese singer SAINT JHN, Nigerian singer WizKid, and Beyonce’s own daughter, Blue Ivy Carter.

The revolutionary track, originally from 'The Lion King', and the accompanying short-film by Beyoncé embodies what it means to empower women of colour, especially dark-skinned women.

Beyonce’s music video rejects the colourism rampant in Indian society, and takes account of all shades of brown that beautiful, powerful women of colour embody, and are learning to wear with pride.

She celebrates all shades of melanated skin with the lyrics,

"There's complexities in complexion
But your skin, it glow like diamonds"

Screenshot from Beyoncé's 'Brown Skin Girl' Music Video celebrating, among others, South Asian beauty.
Screenshot from Beyoncé's 'Brown Skin Girl' Music Video celebrating, among others, South Asian beauty.
(Source: YouTube/Beyoncé)

‘Sharam’, But in All The Wrong Places

'Beyoncé Sharma Jayegi', however, reaffirms the superiority of the 'goriya' and 'chittiyan kalaiyaan' that powerful voices like Beyoncé's have attempted for years to undo.

Bollywood, has played an emphatic and an inexcusable role in fetishising white skin. “Goriya” or “light-skinned girl” is often projected as high praise, and light-skin a marker of beauty.

But Bollywood, is incorrigible, unapologetic and clearly very sharam-less. Therefore, quite possibly, faced with this song, Beyonce will have to feel some sharam, for all of us, though.

An industry fuelled by fairness cream endorsements, Bollywood has repeatedly told 'brown-skinned girls' that they are unworthy of love, beauty and even that job offer that they really want.

Dark-skinned women in India have repeatedly been subjected to criticism and stigma.

Mainstream media continues to further entrench these archiac, harmful notions deeply within society, with 'Beyoncé Sharma Jayegi' being the most recent case in point.

(At The Quint, we are answerable only to our audience. Play an active role in shaping our journalism by becoming a member. Because the truth is worth it.)

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