On the 17th of November, celebrated singer Sonu Nigam uploaded a video on his YouTube account with 1.2 million subscribers. In the video, seated in a house from where the Himalayan range was visible, Sonu Nigam lashed out at the media, especially Tribute and CNN Lokmat.
In the video, Sonu Nigam says that he woke up in the morning and read an article that spoke about how he does not want his son to become a singer in India, and then, he says that the article quoted troll comments on his views.
He then says, ‘Ye video un dallon ke liye hai’ (This video is for those brokers), referring to the media organisations that published that article.
Further in the video, he then specifically refers to the Tribute editor and says, “tu sota kaise hai dalle?” (How do you sleep at night?).
He says his son is multi-talented and he will eventually do whatever it is that he wants to do in life. “He sings, but that does not mean he has to become a singer”, says Sonu Nigam in the video he uploaded.
The tongue-lashing that Sonu Nigam gave the media, specifically Tribute does not end there. He further says that the media is so Leftist, that they have started hating even their right hand and they don’t even wink with their right eye anymore. He says that the media thinks anyone who is to their ‘right’ is considered a ‘right wing’ by the media. “I am what you will never be. I am a true Indian. I am a centred person. I am neither Left, nor Right. That is what you should have also been, as a journalist”, he says.
Referring to the Tribune editor as a ‘Dalla’ yet again, Sonu Nigam further wades into the Nepotism debate that has been raging in the country ever since the death of Sushant Singh Rajput. He says that in the Nepotism debate, it is being said that in the Bollywood industry, the debate says that singers make their children singers, actors make their children actors, so on and so forth. And the media should appreciate if he is saying that he does not want his son to be in this industry.
Asking the media, especially Tribune to be in their limits, Sonu Nigam ends his video by training his guns at News18 Lokmat. ‘News18 Lokmat, tu bhi bhaunk mat” (News18 Lokmat, don’t bark)”, he says as he ends his video.
The report that Sonu Nigam was furious about
On the 15th of November, Times Now Digital published an exclusive interview of Sonu Nigam, taken at the launch of his new devotional song, Ishwar Ka Vo Sacha Banda.
According to Times Now Digital, on being asked if his son Neevan aspires to become a singer, Sonu said, “Frankly, I don’t want him to be a singer, at least not in this country. Anyway, he does not live in India anymore, he lives in Dubai. I have already got him out of India. He is a born singer but he has another interest in life. As of now, he is one of the topmost gamers of the United Arab Emirates (UAE). He is number 2 in Fortnite. There is a game called Fortnite and he is the top gamers in the Emirates. He is a brilliant child with a lot of qualities and talent. And I don’t want to tell him what to do. Let’s see what he wants to do himself” (sic).
While he also spoke about how people are getting drawn to positive music, Tribune and several other media houses decided to pick up only the part where he says he does not want his son to become a singer. Tribune, who Sonu Nigam has lashed out at, specifically put the fact that his son had moved to Dubai in the headline.
In the article, after citing what Nigam had said, Tribune proceeded to quote several trolls who questioned him about ‘moving to Dubai’ since he had earlier questioned the loudspeakers used during Azaan.
The Tribune quoted a troll saying, “I am glad #sonunigam moved to a country where he can’t hear azaan. He was greatly troubled by the sound of azaan in India, and asked for its ban on speaker. #dubailife“.
It must be recalled that back in April 2017, Sonu Nigam stirred up a storm after tweeting his exasperation of usage of loudspeakers for azaan, the prayer call for Muslims. Even back then, the fundamentalists had attacked him for voicing his displeasure against the forced religiousness through loudspeakers. Some had even wished for throat cancer for the singer for wanting to stop the usage of loudspeaker for azaan. After his tweet went viral, a bounty of Rs 21 crore was given on his head by one Rizwan Malik for the same. A maulvi in West Bengal issued a fatwa and announced a prize of 10 lakh rupees for any person who shaves the head of Sonu Nigam. Sonu took the fatwa head-on and proceeded to himself shave his head. But, the Maulvi refused to pay up, citing that he had two more conditions: that someone put a garland of old torn shoes around his neck and tour him around the country.
Two youths in Madhya Pradesh were reportedly stabbed after they expressed solidarity with Sonu Nigam. Shivam Rai a resident of Ujjain had posted his support for Sonu on Facebook and also declared that henceforth he would only listen to his songs. This incensed some Muslim youths from Begumgunj and a verbal spat ensued. He was also allegedly threatened over the phone by these youths named Mohammad Nagori and Faizan Khan and eventually stabbed, along with his friend.
While Sonu Nigam had said nothing wrong about loudspeakers being used, Sonu was trolled mercilessly, that ended with his deactivating his account. In fact, in a 2015 the Bombay High Court had observed that there were about 822 Mosques and 90 Temples which did not have licenses to operate loudspeakers. Also in 2014 the Bombay High court had called for a removal of Illegal loudspeakers from Religious structures in Navi Mumbai and Mumbai the order which was also welcomed by Muslim leaders.
Perhaps Sonu Nigam lashed out at Tribune because the media portal was clearly raking up an old controversy where Sonu Nigam had questioned loudspeakers being used for Azaan and was threatened mercilessly by Islamists. That they used his son for their pettiness makes it far worse.