Mumbai: Saying that she found him “brighter than most of his peers”, singer Sona Mohapatra Wednesday took on colleague Sonu Nigam for his reported defence of composer Anu Malik, who she alleged is a “serial predator”. Nigam was quoted as saying at a media summit over the weekend that Malik, his long time friend, was accused without any proof and had maintained a dignified silence on the #MeToo allegations.
Mohapatra, Shweta Pandit and two other budding singers, who chose to remain anonymous, made allegations of sexual harassment against Malik in October, when the #MeToo movement was gathering pace. Mohapatra, who called Malik a “serial predator”, said she felt “let down” by Nigam’s remarks.
“I always found Sonu Nigam to be brighter than most of his peers, intelligent, so talented, excellent at his craft and yes, kind too. Feel so let down hearing him talk like this and choose the dark side to side up with. I’m hoping he realises how sad this is,” she wrote on Twitter on Wednesday. “So much sympathy for a millionaire losing work? So much empathy for his privileged family being ‘tortured’? How about the scores of girls and women he tortured? Multiple testimonies not proof enough? ‘Sonu Nigam backs Anu Malik on #MeToo: Where is the proof’?” she said, tagging a news article.
Malik has repeatedly denied all the allegations. His lawyer told PTI at the time that the #MeToo movement was being used for his client’s “character assassination”. Following the allegations, the music composer stepped down as a jury member from “Indian Idol”, a singing reality show of which he was part since its inception in 2004. The singer commented on Nigam’s reported remark that there was no proof against the composer, saying there were “possibly 100 plus women and men” who can attest to Malik’s “deplorable abusive behaviour”.
“I guess Mr Sonu Nigam expects all these women/underage girls to – a) strap recording devices b) carry spy cams, other proof gathering devices cus they have much to benefit defaming him? (sic)” she added. Nigam is already under fire for his reported remark on Pakistan at the media summit. He was quoted as saying, “… it would be better if I was from Pakistan”. On Tuesday night, he said on Facebook that the comment was misconstrued.
“My point about being better off being born in Pakistan was about the music companies in India asking Indian singers to pay 40-50 per cent of their concerts remunerations to them, and only then they’ll work with those artistes… But they don’t ask the same from the singers from abroad, namely Pakistan. This was the important point I made… And these guys… changed it to ‘I would have been better off born in Pakistan I’d have work come my way.’ What do I say? Pathetic,” Sonu wrote on Facebook. Mohapatra was quick to react.
“Are Arijeet Singh, Badshah, Vishal Dadlani from Pakistan though? “(You’ve had your moment under the sun dear. India anoints a new ‘Male Super Star’ every three/four/five years without fail. Don’t blame the Pakistani artists. Also do not mix up art and music with politics and idealogy.)” she said on Twitter.