On 13 September, The Quint published a video calling out the internet sensation and cringe-pop artist Omprakash Mishra AKA Rap King for his overtly misogynistic lyrics in the viral song – ‘Bol na aunty aau kya’.

His video had more than 30,000 likes and 60,000 dislikes. We asked for his video to be taken down from YouTube.

The video has now been taken down due to a copyright claim by ‘Smokedlime’.

(Photo Courtesy: YouTube)

Within minutes of our video against Omprakash going online, we were slammed with a slew of mixed opinions. Some agreed with us and reported Omprakash’s video on YouTube, while others failed to see the problem with the sexism.

Omprakash Mishra Asks To Take Down Quint Neon

A Facebook page going by the name MemeMandir, that claims to be a Omprakash Mishra fan, has now organised a ‘Shouting ‘Bolna Aunty Aun Kya’ at The Quint’s Office’ event.

If that wasn’t enough, Omprakash Mishra himself has added fuel to the fire by asking to ‘report Quint Neon’ from his personal page on Facebook.

Screenshot taken from Omprakash Mishra’s Facebook page.
Screenshot taken from Omprakash Mishra’s Facebook page. (Photo Courtesy: Facebook/ Omprakash Mishra)

He has also egged on his supporters to continue trolling and ‘raiding’ Quint Neon’s Facebook page. A comment below the post also shared a direct link to The Quint’s reporter Deeksha Sharma’s Facebook account. Deeksha has been receiving rape and death threats from the so-called fans of the ‘Rap King’.

  Screenshot taken from Omprakash Mishra’s Facebook page.
Screenshot taken from Omprakash Mishra’s Facebook page. (Photo Courtesy: Facebook/ Omprakash Mishra)

A similar event was organised in Bhubaneswar on 15 September night.

‘Bol Na Aunty Aau Kya’ Isn’t Sexist at All?

Those who genuinely liked Omprakash’s song did not agree that the lyrics reeked of misogyny, sexism or rape threats.

A few even claimed that The Quint was ‘picking on an innocent artist’ when there are other Bollywood and international rap heavyweights who continue to endorse sexism.

Screen grab of a comment on the video.
Screen grab of a comment on the video. (Photo Courtesy: Facebook/QuintNeon)

Free Speech All the Way?

Then, there was another group of critics who agreed that Omprakash’s song is sexist, but argued that The Quint should not be calling for an act of censorship against it. It is creative content, they said, and calling for a ban against it would make us akin to the Pahlaj Nihalanis of the world.

“When a sex scene is cut from a film, or a book is banned, or a film is banned, for whatever reason, the argument of the ‘liberal’ media has been that viewers are discerning enough to take decisions about the kind of content that they want to consume – and that nothing should be BANNED. This annoying song is hardly the first example of sexism in music and by this logic, a large number of mainstream Bollywood songs should be taken down as well. If you don’t like the song, don’t listen to it – but pretending to be the custodians of quality content on the internet is really taking things too far. Also, turns out the dude has a lot of fans because Quint Neon’s ratings on Facebook have taken a massive hit. Whattaguy.”

Kevin Kenneth Lee, Journalist

As The Quint is an organisation that has frequently campaigned for and supported freedom of speech, I was most disappointed to see an article that threatens a singer with a harassment suit because the writer deems his lyrics sexist. (“Itne sexist songs likhta hai, harassment case karwaun kya?”) Everyone is entitled to have an opinion and express the same, but calling for someone to be banned and blocked because one doesn’t like their rap style goes against what many journalists and lawyers have fought for, the very core of freedom of expression.

An excerpt from the mail sent by Neerja Gurnani, a reader

Such Trolling, Much Disgust

And then, there were those who trolled us with no reasonable argument whatsoever. Hundreds of them started a campaign to down-vote Quint Neon’s Facebook page to 1-star rating for speaking against their favourite rapper.

Here are some of the comments.

This vid in which you’re a showing a feminist bitch who doesn’t know a thing or two about what Omprakash is for us…Tell that dishwasher to be in the kitchen…she doesn’t deserve to criticize someone’s talent… He’s not a rapper…he’s an emotion…Vrna “Sot” laga dunga​….

Laxman Singh Tomar via Quint Neon’s inbox on Facebook.

Ye kuch bhi bakwas posts karna band karo feminism k naam pe.. Bc vo video post karne se pehle khud hi Hindi me 10 gandhe sexiest shabdh tum hi post karte ..ho bkl Ab Omprakash ko sexiest boltey ho..

Abhishek Nukal via Quint Neon’s inbox on Facebook.

Ek shot lagaunga na saara offence bahar nikal jaega Sarthak Negi Seen kya krra reply kr vrna lagao ek shot.

Sarthak Negi via Quint Neon’s inbox on Facebook.

The Quint’s Take:

To Those Who Have Showered Deeksha Sharma and The Quint’s Neon Team with Abuse and Rape Threats

Rape threats and misogynistic abuse from those defending Omprakash only emphasise our point. Of course you think his song is okay when you find rape threats an acceptable response to anything – but our call to action is not for you, it is for those who don’t want to see our society riven by misogyny. So, thank you for motivating us to speak up that much louder.

To Those Who Disagree That the Quint Should Call for Censorship

Many of you have compared us to a man we have often criticised – Pahlaj Nihalani. So let us underscore why we demanded YouTube to take this song down.

Here is the translation of the song (done by ScoopWhoop).

(Please note that the translation is not literal but based on colloquial usage)

Aunty should I come over

Should I flap your boobs

Will you like a thrust

Aunty should I come over

Should I flap your boobs

Will you like a thrust

Aunty should I come over

Aunty this is the limit

You let everyone fuck you but you say no to me

You roam around in the skimpiest dresses

You burn your father’s money

For these reasons aunty

I will try my luck with you tonight

I want to fuck you

Aunty should I come over

Should I flap your boobs

Will you like a thrust

Aunty should I come over

It’s a party for us this Sunday

Aunty will be home alone

Just like soda and whiskey

Aunty’s figure is sexy

We have to teach her a lesson

Come over at 12 o clock

When it is dark

Aunty I will fuck you all night

I will fuck you with fast thrusts

Don’t ask me to go slow

It will hamper my image

Your pussy, my dick

Do my bidding for a night

You have got it all sorted

After nine months you will deliver a little baby

Every time I see you

I get hard

See, my dick salutes you

What do you do to maintain your sexy figure?

I am sure you get fucked 10 times a day

You have also called me home

And made me do all sorts of dirty things

If I say no, you will seduce me

You will ask me to unzip my pants

So that you can suck my dick

You want all the pleasures of life

You want to be fucked 10 times a day

I am your friend, call me over

I don’t even mind eating a dry bread

But I don’t drink without mixers

I don’t bother myself with just any girl

But when I meet a girl whose figure I like

I don’t let her go without fucking her

This rap song of mine will play all over the world

Every street will have my fans

Every girl will ask only one question

When will this king of rap get a queen?

Hate Speech Has Never Been Protected Under Freedom of Speech

At multiple points in the song, Omprakash makes rape threats directed at ‘aunty’ – a stand-in for women everywhere.

Making rape threats is not okay – not face-to-face, not on social media, not in our movies or our songs. It simply incites sexual violence.

Freedom of speech in India does not give one the right to incite violence against any group. For example, hate speech inciting communal hatred is a crime. Your right to freedom of speech and expression does not give you the right to make a rape threat at me, or anyone else.

It is in this light that The Quint decided to demand that YouTube took down a video that unabashedly calls for sexual harassment and abuse.

We are not the new Censor Board, as some of you have claimed. We are just not happy to tolerate songs that threaten rape. To the argument that the same can be said of several Bollywood songs, we should call those out too. All of us should.

Omprakash Mishra/Facebook

The popularity of a Facebook event which called for people to meet at Connaught Place, New Delhi, and shout Bol Na Aunty Aau Kya, a viral rap song by Omprakash Mishra has stumped many. With hundreds actually turning up for the event and shouting out the misogynistic song it looked like Omprakash had more fans than anticipated.

On Wednesday, Quint Neon, in a video featuring reporter Deeksha Sharma, called out the song for its crass and violent sexism.  Bol Na Aunty Aau Kya or Aunty Ki Ghanti is essentially a rape threat and endorses the thinking that the ‘aunty’, who could be any woman, is ‘asking for it’ by wearing skimpy clothes and having a desirable ‘figure’.

YouTube has since taken down Omprakash’s video, and the error message lists a copyright claim by ‘Smokedlime’.

Starting Friday night, not only have The Quint and Quint Neon’s Facebook pages been filled with thousands of hateful comments, but the inboxes of the women in their team have been inundated with rape and death threats. Here is a snapshot of the comments section on Facebook.

The Quint has since filed a complaint with the Cyber Crime cell against the Omprakash and the online harassers.

“Our social media pages and journalists were tagged in obscene posts, were abused online and trolled,” the complaint says. “Last night, the reporter [name retracted] who did the video got two death threats on her personal WhatsApp number at 3.12am (on 16 September 2017). The two numbers were – [numbers retracted]. Ever since then, her personal page on Facebook and her number are flooded with sexual abuses and rape threats,” the complaint adds.

Deeksha, who seems to be the main target for the trolls, told TNM that when the trolling began, they tried to engage with people in the comments section so as to explain the idea behind Quint Neon’s video. Deeksha replied to some persons from her personal profile. Soon after that, abusers began targeting her personally.

“Every abuse you can think of, you will find in my [Facebook] inbox. They took screenshots of my photos and posts and started circulating them on Instagram,” Deeksha says.

The screenshots Deeksha is talking about are indeed being circulated on social media, and attempt to slut shame her. Others juxtapose her face with the lyrics of Aunty Ki Ghanti.

Apart from Deeksha, other women reporters at The Quint also received similar threats. Garvita Khybri, a colleague of Deeksha, tells TNM, “Our entire team is being threatened. We have done Facebook lives so they know who we are. It’s easy for them to find our Facebook profiles. Two of my women colleagues have temporarily deactivated their social media profiles because we’ve just been inundated with threats. They just want to gag women’s voice.”

While the trolling and abuse has been pouring in for over two days, Garvita adds that it was last night that the trolls came like armies. All this while Omprakash has been endorsing and egging on the abusers, but it was on Saturday night that the ‘rapper’ shared a status of a fan asking for Quint Neon’s Facebook page to be ‘raided’.

Screenshot/The Quint

Omprakash earlier wrote on his Facebook page to report Quint Neon’s page.

Screenshot/The Quint

Both posts seem to have been deleted now. But Rudraksh Dixit, who called for the raid, posted a status later on Saturday night saying that the idea behind the ‘raid’ was not to give rape and death threats. On Sunday morning, responding perhaps to the news of The Quint filing a complaint, Rudraksh wrote, “If you troll my feelings, I will file a police complaint.”

A Facebook page called MemeMandir had also taken part in the organised trolling by creating the event ‘Shouting Bol Na Aunty Aau Kya at The Quint’s office’. The event seems to have been deleted from Facebook now. However, The Quint has already informed the Noida police about it.

Screenshot/The Quint

The Quint took down their video featuring Deeksha because of the sheer volume of violent threats in which she was being targeted. Sohini Guharoy, another journalist at The Quint, is currently handling Deeksha’s Facebook profile and working with Facebook to report the vitriolic Facebook accounts.

“Last night when I logged off at 2am, there were about 20,000 threats and abusive messages. Now, there are over 50,000. It seems that these people have multiple accounts. Facebook is helping us by taking down some of the abusers’ profiles,” she says.

Deeksha says that while the trolling and abuse have not gotten to her head, she is taking some precautions. “My family and organisation are both supporting me. I do not feel threatened per se, but this is about my personal safety. We are in a profession where it is easy to get someone’s personal and contact details. I am taking precautions when I venture out, but I stand by what I did,” she asserts.