In A Daler-ium…Or Mehndi Laga Ke Rakhna

I am not a  Daler Mehndi fan. So I am not really as disappointed by his conviction in a case of human trafficking as some of his close associates and fan are.

An actress who once shared screen space with Daler in a  chartbusting  collaboration, finds it hard  to believe that he has come  to this. “He was such a  star, my God! When we shot together  no one  looked at me.  It was ‘Daler Paaji’ all the way… And now….this. To be so shamed. What are  we coming to?”

 What, indeed. Why do we assume that public shaming is only for  the  non-privileged classes? It’s time we realize that celebrities can and do have feet of  clay and hands also stuck in that sticky clay. Quite expectedly there is silence  in  the   film industry over  the Daler scandal. Not a single  composer or producer that the singer worked with and whom I approached, made any effort to  see  the  entertainer’s behaviour as wrongdoing.

One filmmaker in whose films Daler has sung on a number of occasions  excused  himself saying he had no knowledge of the actual facts. “Let him be. I know him as a decent human being with  a staggering singing range.Beyond that I’ve no interest in what he  does.”

There they go, closing ranks. No  one spoke out recently when Udit Narayan’s son Aditya’s car rammed  into an autorickshaw or when the brat misbehaved at  the airport. No one except Udit Narayan who like any protective father defended Aditya. “Bachcha hai.  Bahot sanskaari beta hai hamara.He would never do any wrong.”

Well, perhaps  not. But it would be nice if someone had  the decency to come  forward to  say it was wrong for everyone to be silent  over singer Ankit Tiwari’s alleged  misconduct. Or Salman  Khan’s car to have driven through a pavement filled with sleeping slumdwellers. Or that perhaps Sanju ‘Baba’  could have been more mature in handling the volatile situation that led to his trouble with the law.

When it  comes to the entertainment business, mum’s the word. And dad’s the  bottom line.Beta can do no wrong. So  don’t expect Daler’s sagaa bhai Mika to speak up. God knows, Mika has been in his own share of misdemeanours.It’s not just music that binds this family. It’s the tendency to sing a discordant tune once in a while. Too bad , this time Daler scaled  the pitch so awkwardly  it landed him in a  soup.

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