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India’s voice versus Assam’s vote

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Posted: 13 March 2006 at 11:02pm | IP Logged
India's voice versus Assam's vote
PRATIM D. GUPTA
Debojit and Vinit in Calcutta. Telegraph picture

Calcutta, Feb. 23: East Zone vs Rest of India could turn out to be a bigger blockbuster on the small screen than an India vs Pakistan cricket match. And Debojit Saha from Silchar could for a few hours steal the thunder of Mahendra Singh Dhoni from Jharkhand as the finals of the Sa Re Ga Ma Pa Challenge 2005 go live on Zee TV tomorrow night.

While the Andheri Sports Complex in Mumbai will host the country's biggest TV show yet — Shahrukh Khan, Rani Mukherjee, Saif Ali Khan, Preity Zinta, Pandit Ravi Shankar, Ghulam Ali are all slated to take the stage — the controversy in the final countdown, too, is growing by the hour.

With the Northeast continuing to vote for Debojit by the lakhs, allegations of regionalism have put a question mark on the Silchar singer and the authenticity of the talent hunt that has previously produced singers like Kunal Ganjawala and Shreya Ghoshal.

Of the one crore SMSes the show has been getting in a week, Debojit has been cornering the lion's share, with 80 per cent coming from his hometown.

If earlier contestants from south India lost out largely due to the low penetration of the Hindi song show in that part of the country, the final result is almost foregone with rival Vinit Singh, 17, not being able to mobilise as many votes from hometown Lucknow.

"We are looking for Assam's voice rather than India's voice," rues music director Aadesh Srivastav, whose shishyas were voted out in previous episodes of the contest. "My student Hemachandra, who came third, lost out because he was from Andhra Pradesh and people there never watch Hindi TV. When you can get people like Pandit Ravi Shankar and Lata Mangeshkar on the show, why not have them judge the contestants rather than leave their fate to the audiences?"

The channel, however, defends the format. Says Ashish Kaul, senior vice-president of Zee Network: "Eventually, when the singers are out on their own, it will be the audiences who will decide whether they are good or bad…. And we are only exposing the best five singers to public voting."

Sa Re Ga Ma Pa producer-director Gajendra Singh feels favouritism is a fact in every field. "Isn't it obvious that my family and my hometown will support me more than the rest of the country?" he asks. "That's why we have kept the whole voting so transparent; you can check out at every stage which part of India is voting for whom."

For men of music who have donned the guest chair at the show, audience voting is not the best option to find tomorrow's playback stars. "People are not responsible, they get swayed by emotions while voting," says music director Pritam, a guest on Sa Re Ga Ma Pa Challenge a couple of weeks ago.

"The channel, of course, is making a whole lot of money through the SMSes but the deserving contestants are losing out in the process," he added.

Perhaps responding to such allegations, Zee is bringing back all the ousted finalists for another contest after the final concludes tomorrow.

"We are getting 20 of the finalists and this time, they will come in pairs," reveals Kaul.

Love ARR

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Posted: 13 March 2006 at 11:05pm | IP Logged
Nice article. Hope to get more soon.

Vinit does not deserve to win. He will lose.
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Posted: 13 March 2006 at 11:11pm | IP Logged
Can we stop this old discussion and get on with the new show. Why rake up the old issues again and again. This particular issue has been discussed so mnay times. Please stop it now.




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Posted: 13 March 2006 at 11:12pm | IP Logged

Originally posted by amogh8188

Nice article. Hope to get more soon.

Vinit does not deserve to win. He will lose.

Vinit seems confidence personified. Like his guru.

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Posted: 13 March 2006 at 11:14pm | IP Logged
Debo has the elegance of Kishore da. Vinit is just a poor copy of Sonu.
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Posted: 13 March 2006 at 11:15pm | IP Logged
Yalgaar Ho!

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Posted: 13 March 2006 at 11:20pm | IP Logged
Teply Qwest.
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Posted: 13 March 2006 at 11:24pm | IP Logged

Originally posted by amogh8188

Teply Qwest.

I am sure he will go a long way regardless all those bashing he got

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