Singer Sona Mohapatra has said that she wasn’t making a personal attack on cricket legend Sachin Tendulkar, but is instead exposing Sony TV, the channel that airs Indian Idol, for using unfair means to promote the show. Sona had previously criticised Sachin for promoting Indian Idol, a show that she claims has protected alleged sexual offender Anu Malik by having him return as a judge.
Sona on Friday shot off multiple tweets clarifying her stance. Responding to headlines that suggested she’d called out Sachin, she wrote, “Not True. A national hero’s twitter handle being used as a commercial marketing machinery by @SonyTV to divert the public’s attention from the fact that they reinstated a serial sexual offender as judge on Indian Idol upset me. Nothing else. #clickbait #pr #tactics I SEE YOU.”
In another tweet, she wrote, “Dear India, just like actors & cricketers get paid to endorse brands on TV, their twitter & other social media handles are available for a price for the same purpose.I doubt Sachin Tendulkar watches Indian Idol & then bothers to write detailed tweets about their contestants?” She added, “I don’t think that our cricketing legend @sachin_rt was even aware of the PR & Digital marketing tweet that his team would’ve put up. Of course @SonyTV is now spreading this headline to get people to troll me for questioning a Bharat Ratna & garner publicity for their show.”
Earlier, comedian Tanmay Bhat was severely criticised on social media after filming a video of himself imitating singer Lata Mangeshkar and Sachin, through a Snapchat filter. Tanmay later apologised to Sachin in a Facebook post.
Sona in a long statement a day earlier had written about Anu Malik, and how his re-hiring sends out the wrong message. Specifically targeting Sachin’s promotional tweet, she’d written, “Dear Sachin, Are you aware of all the @IndiaMeToo stories of multiple women, some minors who came forward in the public domain about Anu Malik, the judge in this same Indian Idol show last year including their own ex producer? Does their trauma not matter or touch anyone?”
Anu Malik was removed as a judge in light of the allegations made against him during last year’s #MeToo movement. Sona has repeatedly criticised the decision to bring him back, and has also called out Indian Idol co-judges Vishal Dadlani and Neha Kakkar for not speaking out.