The singer was evicted after he shot his mouth off about a Pakistani singer’s entry on a reality programme
He has been out of the limelight for quite some time; his playback singing assignments have dwindled and the only thing that has kept him in the spotlight are perhaps the reality shows on television. But playback singer Abhijeet Bhattacharya had a taste of his own medicine last week when his ‘strategy’ of opposing the entry of a Pakistani singer on a show backfired and resulted in his own ouster.
It’s common knowledge that Zee TV is promoting Indo-Pak friendship through its reality shows. As per the format and strategy of the show Ek Se Badhkar Ek, the channel decided to give Mussarrat Abbas of Pakistan a wild card entry into Sa Re Ga Ma Pa Challenge 2007.
All was well till Abhijeet got a whiff of the decision. He threatened to quit.
We thought of getting Abhijeet’s point of view. He says, “I don’t understand why the channel is trying to get a Pakistani singer for no reason. If our singers like Harpreet or Emon who have been eliminated in the same show, can’t come, how is it that a Pakistani singer can come here out of the blue? I refuse to accept that.”
When we told him that Indians too go abroad like the US or UK for better prospects, he shot back, “I am not talking about abroad. I am only talking about the Indian music industry which still has a very limited scope. I mean, they are coming from Pakistan and eating up the share. They have taken almost 10 per cent of the work. Do you think Atif Aslam can sing?”
We thought dragging Atif Aslam’s name into the controversy was totally uncalled for and so we reminded him of Raahat Fateh Ali Khan. “Well, I think our singers like Sukhwinder Singh or Shankar Mahadevan can sing better than him any day,” he reasoned.
Just when we were getting a hint that he is trying to garner some controversy for himself, he retorts, “I have seen kids and their parents queuing up under the scorching heat to get a chance in the shows. And this is like showing disrespect to them by not giving our kids a chance and giving a Pakistani singer a wild card entry.”
Maybe he is not fighting an election, but his strategy bears uncanny resemblance to politico’s insular strategies. Only this time it is targeted towards singers in the neighbouring country.
And this time, it has not paid off.