Asha Bhosle wonders if she can sing ‘Hare Krishna Hare Ram’ even as 62 celebs counter letter against intolerance

Mumbai:

Legendary Singer Asha Bhosle has asked a genuine question on social media. The singer, who has been awarded Dadasaheb Phalke Award and the Padma Vibhusha, tweeted that will she be allowed to sing her famous 1971 song “Hare Krishna Hare Ram.”

“Dum Maro Dum…Bolo Subh Shyam Hare Krishna Hare Ram..can I perform this evergreen song or not ?,” tweeted Bhosle who is acknowledged by the Guinness Book of World Records as the most recorded artist.

Bhosle’s remark has come even as 63 celebrities have written an open letter countering another open letter issued on 23 July by 49 celebrities on growing “intolerance” in the country.

The recent letter has been signed by big names like Prasoon Joshi, Padma Vibhushan and Padma Bhushan award winner Sonal Mansingh, Kangana Ranaut, Grammy Award winner Pandit Vishwa Mohan Bhatt, Padmashri award winning film maker Madhur Bhandarkar  renowned folk artist Padmashree Malini Awasthi, and film maker & bestselling author Vivek Agnihotri among others.

The letter said that “Forty nine self-styled “guardians” and “conscience keepers” of the nation and of democratic values have once again expressed selective concern and demonstrated a clear political bias and motive.”

The letter said that the “selective outrage” of 49 celebrities “is aimed at tarnishing India’s international standing and to negatively portray Prime Minister Modi’s untiring efforts to effectuate governance on the foundations of positive nationalism and humanism which is the core of INDIANNESS.”

The letter accused the 49 signatories of “strangely kept silent” when the following incidents took place.

“1) When those who chant Jai Shree Ram were imprisoned, were called criminals and were being killed and maimed

2) When complaints of being forced to chant Jai Shree Ram were being repeatedly exposed as being false and concocted

3) When members of a certain community – in this case Hindus of Sandeshkhali in West Bengal, were being prevented from exercising their franchise during the last Lok Sabha elections and were being terrorised by one Shah Jehan Sheikh who was passed off as a popular “social worker”

4) When an orgy of unprecedented violence was unleashed during the Panchayat elections across West Bengal in 2018

5) When violence was unleashed in the state during the Lok Sabha elections this year

6) When Jagannath Tudu was bludgeoned to death in Purulia just because he followed a different political ideology from that of the ruling dispensation in West Bengal

7) When students were fired upon in Daribhit High School, Islampur, just because they wanted teachers for Bengali, Geography and Computer Application instead of being forced to learn Urdu.

8) When temples were vandalised in Kaliachak, Deganga, Baduria, Raniganj and even as late as in July 2019 in Chandni Chowk in Delhi

9) When there was a concerted conspiracy by a certain section, taking advantage of the Sabrimala Temple entry movement, to disguise themselves and try and enter the temple and thus hurt the sentiments of millions of devotees

10) They are silent when farmers are killed by cattle smugglers and live in terror due to them or when Jawans along some sectors of our borders are attacked and murderously assaulted by these smuggling cartels.

11) When Hindus in Kairana (UP) had to migrate leaving their home and hearth behind

12) They were silent when Kashmiri Pandits were driven out of the Valley and have never till date spoken of their plight, ” the letter stated.

The letter also slammed the silence of the 49 signatories on case of Triple Talaq tradition. “This very group did not display the courage to stand beside women who were opposed to and are struggling against the regressive Triple Talaq tradition and did not speak out for the need of equality and empowerment in this case,” said the letter.

The letter issued on 23 July, which was addressed to PM, has said that “Jai Shri Ram” has become as “War Cry.”