Silchar: With the fresh impetus from the update of National Register of Citizens (NRC) and public threats to Bengalis by surrendered Ulfa militants, Assamese jingoism seems to be all set for yet another climax!
Bollywood singer Shaan got a taste of this while performing in a live concert at Sarusajai Stadium in Guwahati on Sunday (28 October) night.
According to a news report in Jugasankha, a Bengali news daily published from Guwahati, the singer began his concert by performing an Assamese song and the crowd-packed stadium burst into cheers.
After this, Shaan performed a couple of Assamese and Bengali hit songs to the applauds from the crowd mostly comprised of young girls and boys. However, as soon as he began singing a Bengali song, a section of the crowd started pelting paper balls at him.
Initially, for a few moments, Shaan ignored this. Then, he stopped singing and picked up one of the paper balls thrown at him and registered his protest at the gesture from the audience.
“Despite suffering from fever, I am performing here for you by taking antibiotics. If you don’t like my signing, please walk away. A singer has every right to sing in whatever language he wants; nobody has a right to insult a singer for this. I have performed almost in every part of the world, nowhere I was subjected such humiliation,” Shaan has been quoted by Jugasankha saying this from the stage.
The singer, who incidentally happens to be a Bengali, also gave a piece of advice to the audience. “You shall have to come out of the narrow regional sentiments. Assam is part of this country and not a separate entity,” he said.
Soon after this, Shaan left the stage. But he was subsequently convinced to return to the stage by the organisers with an offer of an apology and assurance that there will be no more uncivilized gesture from the audience.
The incident has triggered a controversy in Assam with Bengalis terming it a manifestation of the revitalised jingoism in the Assamese society. However, several Assamese speaking people have taken to the social media in offering apology to the Bollywood singer.
In responding to one such tweet, Shaan has written: “Just for the records…loved my Assam Tour! Saw the most fascinating sights…made new friends…had huge turnouts at every concert..Over one unfortunate incident it would be very wrong to tarnish this beautiful state!!! Whatever happened was in the heat of the moment.”