Mumbai. Leading singer Atif Aslam has been awarded the “Best Supporting Singer” award by Indian Music Academy (IMA) for beautifully complementing the chorus singers in the song “Tu Jaane Na” of the Bollywood movie “Ajab Prem Ki Ghazab Kahani”. This is the first major Indian award for the Pakistani singer who is quite popular in India and has been singing regularly for Bollywood movies, but it has triggered a debate in the musical society.
While the supporter of Atif Aslam have termed the award as bogus and ‘derogatory’ for relegating the lead singer to a secondary role, chorus singers have welcomed the award saying it was a much needed, though also much delayed, recognition of their contribution to the music industry.
“There was time when All India Radio would term singers of a song as ‘Kishore Kumar and Sathi’ and people were left wondering who this Sathi was? In fact I know of a Vijayendra, the property dealer of Sathi Builders & Developers in Vashi, who had confused many people by claiming that he used to sing in Hindi movies. Chorus singers were always ignored and never appreciated, but now IMA has tried to undo this wrong. I welcome this step.” Sameer Sawant, a chorus singer who has sung in various Bollywood movies said.
But supporters of Atif Aslam are not impressed. They argue that the category of “Best Supporting Singer” was ‘invented’ by IMA to insult Atif. They wonder why they never heard of this category in any Music Awards function anywhere else in the world.
“Where was this category of award all these years? Why suddenly now and why Atif only? Why didn’t they award Anu Malik in this category when he sang ‘why did you break my heart’ lines during ‘Dil Mera Churaya Kyun’ song in ‘Akele Hum Akele Tum’? This is all bullshit. An attempt to discourage Atif and nothing else.” Ravi Raut, a die-hard fan of Atif Aslam argued.
The supporters of Atif were further enraged by playback singer Abhijeet, who had earlier called Atif Aslam ‘besura’ (out of tune singer), when he claimed that if at all Atif was to be awarded, he should have been awarded for complementing ‘recording machines’ and not chorus singers. Abhijeet claimed that he had the support of many Pakistani singers on this issue.
Meanwhile music lovers, who are finding “Tu Jaane Na” a very soulful and romantic song, have criticized all the parties to this controversy and have accused media organizations like Faking News of giving undue importance to non-issues. Faking News pleads guilty to the charges as we fear being beaten up by hockey-sticks if we raised real issues.