‘Heady mix of drinks, vulgar songs wreaking havoc on roads’
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With lyrics of Punjabi songs increasingly straying into the 'censored' zone, music may soon face complete ban in Punjab buses. The state transport department, which last week banned both the state and private buses from playing vulgar and provocative songs citing them as distraction causing road accidents, says it was flooded with complaints against objectionable lyrics.
"One of the reasons for imposing the ban was also the large number of complaints against dirty songs played in the buses. They are not only a distraction for drivers but also generate mental pollution. Those who want to hear such songs can hear them at their homes," says Punjab Transport Minister Ajit Singh Kohar.
Though the minister thinks such songs are a distraction for those behind the wheel, his department does not want to completely ban radio and music in buses. "For now, we have asked them to air only informative programmes, news and good music. We have asked passengers to inform us if they come across drivers playing vulgar songs. If we still receive complaints, all music will be banned in state buses," he says.
While vulgarity distracts, according to Kohar, drunken driving makes for a heady mix leading to high number of fatalities on roads. "It is a known fact that many in Punjab drive at night after taking a drink or two. Drunken driving is a major cause for road accidents and the government is making all-out efforts to check it," he adds.
Good intentions apart, the department's hunt for "good" songs may not prove easy going by demonstrations by women activists outside homes of leading Punjabi singers. In a move that picked up since last year, woman vigilante groups have picketed houses and burnt effigies of Punjabi singers for "demeaning and derogatory" lyrics and videos.
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