Niranjan Patnaik comes out in support of Sona Mohapatra

Bhubaneswar: At a time when protests are mounting against Bollywood-based Odia singer Sona Mohapatra for mispronunciation of certain words in her latest rendition of the popular Odia bhajan ‘Ahe Nila Saila,’ Odisha Pradesh Congress Committee chief, Niranjan Patnaik came out in support of the singer questioning why none protests when the head of the state himself is known for vulgar Odia pronunciation.

“She is neither born in Odisha nor can read the language, still sings Odia songs and bhajans. She might have mispronounced some words of the song. No one comes out to protest when the head of the state himself distorts the language and is known for vulgar pronunciations. Why should a singer be targeted?” questioned Patnaik.

Meanwhile, protestors under the banner of “Sachetan Nagarik Manch” today burnt the poster of Sona Mohapatra in front of Swargadwar in Puri and demanded her apology for the mispronunciation of certain words of the bhajan.

The Manch requested the State Culture Department to remove the video of the song from YouTube. Earlier on Monday, president of the manch, Prasanna Das had filed a complaint against Sona at the Singhadwar Police Station for hurting the sentiments of Odia community.

“Sona Mohapatra has sung the song very badly. At least 13 words of the song have been intentionally pronounced wrong. The whole attempt is to earn fame overnight. She has repeatedly played with the sentiments of Odia people and so far has sung three songs wrongly,” said Das, adding, the State Government should write a letter to YouTube to ban the video from its platform.

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Despite raging protests, the singer took to Twitter to point at her Raja attire which she wore during her performance and mentioned that it was an ode to tradition as she was promoting Odia and Odia culture.

The controversy surfaced after the singer posted a video of her live concert on YouTube on Monday. Soon after the post, users pointed out the pronunciation errors in the song written by Bhakta Salabega- a well-known Muslim devotee of Lord Jagannath.

According to the video posted by the singer, she is heard pronouncing Salabega as Salebega, Charana as Charane and Matta as Maatra.