Why can’t Arijit Singh sing ‘Rang de tu mohe Gerua’ in Kolkata?

Why can’t Arijit Singh sing ‘Rang de tu mohe Gerua’ in Kolkata?

Arijit Singh's Kolkata concert has been cancelled. The BJP has accused TMC of taking action after the singer sang ‘Rang de tu mohe gerua’ in front of Bengal CM Mamata Banerjee.

“Music has no boundaries. Music is the rhythm of the heart. Ghulam Ali concert can be held in Kolkata. We will make all the arrangements,” West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee had tweeted on October 8, 2015.

Quote-tweeting this Leader of Opposition in the Bengal assembly Suvendu Adhikari said that “music has no boundaries when it comes to Pakistani Ghulam Ali but the case is different for Hindustani Arijit Singh”.

So what is the issue?

At Kolkata International Film Festival (KIFF) 2022, Arijit Singh sang a line from the song ‘Rang de tu mohe Gerua’ in the presence of Mamata Banerjee. The song is from Shah Rukh Khan-starrer Dilwale and is one of the singer’s most popular ones.

Days later, news emerged that Arijit Singh's concert, which was scheduled to be held on February 18, was cancelled after police denied permission. This set off a political slugfest between the opposition BJP and ruling Trinamool Congress (TMC).

Why can’t Arijit Singh sing ‘Rang de tu mohe Gerua’ in Kolkata?
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The BJP launched a no-holds-barred attack on the Mamata Banerjee-led government for cancelling Arijit Singh’s concert. The BJP alleged that Mamata Banerjee took offence to Arijit’s choice of song. Gerua, which means saffron, and by extension saffron politics, is a long-standing sore point with the TMC supremo. On several occasions in the past, she has stridently criticised the so-called saffronisation of Indian politics by the BJP and its ideological parent, the RSS.

West Bengal minister Firhad Hakim said the permission for Arijit Singh's concert was not granted as a G-20 event is also scheduled in the same area.

“G-20 summit is being scheduled to take place then. G20 members will be in the city that time around. Biswa Bangla convention centre is selected as one of the G20 meeting venue which is just opposite Eco Park, the venue which they want for the concert. According to the police, if thousands of people gather at Eco Park, it may cause law and order issue, which is why they are not allowing the program,” said Hakim.

TMC spokesperson Kunal Ghosh refuted the charge that cancelling the singer’s event was a knee-jerk reaction to his performance of ‘Gerua’ and hit out at the BJP for “politicising” the issue.

"Arijit sang 'gerua' on 15th. His programme was cancelled and deposit money 3 lacs was returned back on 8th. So, how can it be result of 'gerua'? On 9/12 team Arijit deposited 1 lac to Aquatica. Today inspection is on. Final application is yet to be done. BJP doing cheap politics," Ghosh tweeted.

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