There’s a new dance tune being played quietly in little girls’ bedrooms across Saudi Arabia and its message has sparked debate across the country. ‘May men go extinct because they cause us psychiatric diseases’ is the rough translation of the lyrics from the music video, which features a group of brave Saudi women defying the patriarchy in every little way that they can, while protecting their identity as best they can under the niqab. The song satirises the patriarchal natural of Saudi society and calls for an end to the oppression of women. India, too, has a rich history of feminist music and never has the time been more appropriate to bring them up than right now, after the debacle that was NYE in Bengaluru. From films to independent artistes, the wave of feminism in Indian music has been present for much longer than you might think.  

Aaj Phir Jeene Ki Tamanna Hai, Guide

Waheeda Rehman was possibly one of the earliest feminist icons to make waves in Bollywood, so if she says that this song is possibly the first feminist song ever in the industry we’re going to go ahead and believe her.  

Suno Suno Meri Aawaaz, Anandmurti Gurumaa

This wonderful song reminds us all to listen carefully to the voices of our girls who have gone ignored for far too long. The video shows women performing better than men in a variety of fields.  

Dhaakad, Dangal

There is no better summary for the women in Dangal than the opening line of this song: “Knicker aur T-shirt pehenkar aaya cyclone” (“A cyclone has turned up wearing shorts and a t-shirt”). We’re loving this new feminist wave sweeping over Bollywood – Mary Kom, Geeta Phogat… who’s next?  

Badal Pe Paon Hain, Chak De India!

Let’s face it – it isn’t possible to assemble a feminist Bollywood playlist without including this song from everyone’s favourite hockey film. There’s no greater task ahead of us than reminding India’s young women that we’re committed to supporting their dreams.  

Rupaiya, Satyamev Jayate

Sona Mohapatra has been a vocal feminist for some time now, so it’s only right that we include this fantastic track which speaks of a woman’s innate power and how she has no need for a man to support her – whether it be financially or otherwise.


Like this article? Also read: #WeddingPlaylist: For the Indie Couple