Leaked audio conversation between former Trinamool Congressman and Bengali musician Kabir Suman and a Bangla Republic The employee left social media users in West Bengal divided. A BJP corporal, seen in a video threatening to beat up the singer, also filed a complaint against him with the police.
In the 79-second audio clip that has been circulating widely on social media since Friday, Suman can be heard delivering swear words as soon as a man on the phone introduces himself as a journalist linked to Bangla Republic. “This Republic? This cohort of RSS pigs,” Suman asked, asking the caller to sing “Jai Shri Ram” and disconnect the call. The journalist kept addressing the singer, who is also a former journalist, calling him “sir”.
The journalist had called Suman to get his comment on the controversy over Bengali singer Sandhya Mukhopadhyay’s rejection of the Padma Shri, his colleagues said. Suman had earlier said that the award given to a singer of her stature was nothing short of an insult.
One of the journalist’s colleagues recounts Newslaundry“I feel sad for him. He has been an admirer of Suman’s music. But I’m also happy that despite the humiliation, he never lost his temper during the conversation.
While several Facebook users claimed the singer gave the channel the treatment it deserved, arguing that Republic TV spreads only hate, Sajal Ghosh, a BJP corporator from Kolkata Municipal Corporation, filed a complaint against Suman at Muchipara Police Station on Saturday. He reportedly threatened to assault Suman, in . “Go beat Kabir Suman, wherever he is seen. We have to,” he said. “He was rampantly abusing the reporter and when the scribe said that as a Bengali he was asking certain questions…Suman was rampantly abusing him…He was threatening Bengali mothers with rape and inciting communal tension,” Ghosh wrote in his complaint.
Suman could not be reached for comment.
However, in a Facebook post on Saturday, without referring to the audio, he wrote: “I don’t believe in any particular freedom for journalists, media and artists. They have the same rights as any other people. I replied to a particular string in the correct language for what they did. Globally, the media and journalists follow the course they like, employ all the methods. Whoever does not control any channel or newspaper will also follow the course he/she likes. He also suggested people read Heinrich Boell’s book, Katharina Blum’s Lost Honor, and said, “What I have done, I will do again, if need be.”
Moupia Nandy, Associate Editor (Broadcast and Digital) at Zee 24 Ghana, on Facebook, “One can have objections to the way of doing journalism of another. But the use of such languages as a form of protest does not fall within the freedom of art and the artist. Abuse on the phone, referring to mothers, does not count as bravery.
Poet Srijato Bandyopadhyay quoted Suman’s song ‘Birodhi-ke bolte dao‘ (let the opponent speak) to say that being an artist does not give the right to abuse others.
Senior reporter Prasun Acharya demanded a public apology from Suman. “This channel is opposed to any liberal and tolerant opinion… However, even they have a place in democracy… The journalist is only an employee.”
TMC spokesperson Kunal Ghosh said if the voice in the audio is Suman’s, “then it’s very objectionable.” “He should apologize or be penalized.”
However, there were many others who defended Suman, arguing that he addressed “hatemongers” in “the language they deserve”.
Filmmaker Tathagata Mukherjee wrote a long article, criticizing the recording of calls without consent, and said, “The BJP itself is a swear word. You cannot use swear words on a swear word.
“Kabir Suman took the Republic. Bangla joy! No courtesy with the rioters. Many mothers lose their children when they stage riots,” said Siddhabrata Das, a Bengali ethnic rights activist.
Writer Saikat Bandyopadhyay, while criticizing Suman for the ‘unnecessary’ use of swear words on a channel employee, wrote that these channels ‘pretending to be media’ embody ‘counterfeiting, are the worst children of crony capitalism and must be boycotted”. ”. “It would have been better if he hadn’t used swear words, but I doubt it would have gone viral in this case. No one else has done it even without using swear words.
Bangl Republican employee suggested that there were no plans to approach the police.