Now 'Bombay' is a word you can use no longer, according to the Indian Censor Board. The board beeped out the word from a music video before the song was allowed to be aired on television. The musician in question, Mihir Joshi, is not amused.
The first song of Joshi's first album 'Mumbai Blues' released last year was aired on television recently. According to the musician, the video "kept getting delayed for silly reasons" before it was finally given a censor certificate last December. Finally, it was allowed to be aired on TV after the word 'Bombay' was beeped out, since the official name of the city is 'Mumbai'.
The 33-year-old singer, television anchor and former radio jockey took to Twitter to voice his shock and disappointment. Claiming he saw the edited version of the song in question, 'Sorry', which is about a father apologising to his daughter for violence against women in India, for the first time on Sunday morning, Joshi said he was "amazed that the board censored the word Bombay."
On Sunday he tweeted out that he didn't know the exact date his song went to the censor board but he was aware that they had asked the word 'Bombay' to be removed.
"My label called me and told me about that. For me...the song...the message of the song is MUCH bigger than one word. So I said...do whatever it takes...just get it on TV soon," he said on Twitter. "The song is about injustice to women in our country just in case you were wondering...NOT ABOUT BOMBAY or MUMBAI!! That being said, the certificate was issued and Times Music sent out the song to the channels. I think @pepsimtvindies played it first. I didn't know when it would get played. I was messaged by a fan last night and that's when I found out."
“I started laughing at first,” Joshi said, according to Scroll. “I had no idea how to respond, so I told the music company to do whatever it takes to get the song on air.”
“I have not abused anyone or made any political statement. I am a Maharashtrian and know the meaning of Bombay and Mumbai. I don’t think it is an offensive word at all,” said Joshi. "The song sounds funny after the word is beeped out and, in some YouTube videos, the word appears in the lyrics on screen but not in the vocals. I am not going to ask the music company to approach the board again for certification as, for me, the message which I want to give out — about how girls are not safe in the country and how their fathers must be feeling — is more important than creating an issue over minor things."
His Twitter outburst went on for several hours.
So...interestingly enough, now, the word "Bombay" being eliminated from my song is evoking some reactions. It's insane because (1/n)— Mihir Joshi (@mihirjoshimusic) February 1, 2015
It's insane because the message of my song "Sorry" is much bigger and more important. But THAT isn't the part that's getting noticed (2/n)— Mihir Joshi (@mihirjoshimusic) February 1, 2015
What's being talked about is that the word "Bombay" was censored by the censor board.
(3/n)— Mihir Joshi (@mihirjoshimusic) February 1, 2015
It bothers me tremendously that they had a problem with the word "Bombay". It's a historic word. It exists. It's not a bad word ..(4/n)— Mihir Joshi (@mihirjoshimusic) February 1, 2015
And crazily enough my album is called #MumbaiBlues! I don't have a problem with the word Mumbai ...OR the word Bombay. It's still my city!— Mihir Joshi (@mihirjoshimusic) February 1, 2015
In a song that talks about rapes and other terrible things done to women, how is the word BOMBAY the most offensive thing? #MumbaiBlues— Mihir Joshi (@mihirjoshimusic) February 1, 2015
I urge all of you to think about this. Tell me what you think. Let me know what's wrong with the word "Bombay".— Mihir Joshi (@mihirjoshimusic) February 1, 2015
Outrage and support for Joshi poured out on Twitter.
'bombay, bombay, bombay!' 'be silent!' 'ombay, ombay, ombay!' #OldJoke— manishalakhe (@manishalakhe) February 1, 2015
Major Movie called "BOMBAY velvet" has no issues as of now and some song is allegedly having censor troubles because of "Bombay" LMAO— Follow @OpIndia_com (@bwoyblunder) February 1, 2015
That singer is clearly pulling off a stunt to get mileage for his song, your stupidity is his means.— Gabbbar (@GabbbarSingh) February 1, 2015
Yeah pretty much. MT @mojorojo Sometimes it's Bombay and sometimes it's Mumbai and that's fine.— Rishi Jaitly (@rsjaitly) February 1, 2015
The last time Bombay became silent was in 2003. Dear Censor Board, please do not attempt to silence Bombay once again.— Roflindian 2.0 (@Roflindian) February 1, 2015
Bombay didn't switch to Mumbai through a civil consensus. It was forced to change it through dire threats and destruction of property.— Utsav Chakraborty (@SatanBhagat) February 1, 2015
The usage of the word 'Bombay' is now banned in movies, i can confidently say that the Censor board in our country is censeless.— Arnab Goswami (@3DArnab) February 1, 2015
It will always be Bombay for me, no force on Earth could make it otherwise.— Angellica Aribam (@AngellicAribam) February 1, 2015
Only in Bombay would a Twitter uproar about the name "Bombay" also end up with someone bringing up my dad's obituary... only in Bombay.— Dilip D'Souza (@DeathEndsFun) February 1, 2015
.@jemin_p our story is not taking any political sides. We are very clear that the Censor Board in its current form is an outdated idea.— Sachin Kalbag (@SachinKalbag) February 1, 2015
Dil hai chhote bada shahar, are waah re waah teri BambaiFebruary 1, 2015
Censor board advisor says he has no problem with "Bombay". So why did Censor board tell Mihir Joshi to beep it out? http://t.co/HjRc25ich9— Sachin Kalbag (@SachinKalbag) February 1, 2015
I assume Bombay Velvet will now be retitled by the censor board to Mumbai Makhmali.— Mihir Fadnavis (@mihirfadnavis) February 1, 2015
He denied that this was a sort of publicity stunt.
"Thank you, all the people who've written in support. It means a lot to me. Much more than the few who've written thinking that this is a sham," he said late Sunday night. "And finally irrespective of which board did it...the main point of this all is...the word Bombay being bleeped out is just freaking insane! I love Mumbai and loved Bombay. My song was about injustice to women. NOT this "controversy". I mean no offence to anyone. Good night folks."
The uncensored version of the song is still available on YouTube.