In a new turn to the controversy surrounding the remix of cult Sambalpuri song Rangabati, the youth wing of BJP has lodged a complaint against Bollywood singers Sona Mohapatra and Rituraj Mohanty at a police station in Odisha’s Sambalpur district.
“Our complaint is on two counts – first, they did not take permission from the original lyricist and composer and, second, they have distorted the song hurting the feelings of millions of people in western Oridha,” said Aswini Majhi, district vice president of Bhartiya Janata Yuba Morcha.
Sambalpur's additional superintendent of police Sushil Panigrahi said: “We have received the complaint. We are examining the legal issue over copyright and take action accordingly.”
The fusion version of the song by Mohapatra and Mohanty was aired on MTV Coke Studio Channel 4 on June 5. It has so far received more than nine lakh hits since on YouTube.But at the same time it has kicked off a controversy in Odisha with people, especially from western parts of the state accusing them of plagiarism and distortion. Sambalpuri language is spoken in western parts, which is almost a half of the state’s area.
On July 5, the original lyricist Mitrabhaun Gauntia and composer Prabhudatta Pradhan sent a legal notice to Mohapatra, Sampath, Mohanty, sponsors Hindustan Coca Cola Beverages Private Limited, Coca Cola Holdings Private Limited and Viacom Media which owns MTV threatening them with a Rs 1 crore copyright suit.
Sampath has composed music for several Bollywood films, while Mohapatra has lent her voice to several of his compositions. Mohanty was the winner of Star TV India’s Raw Star contest in 2014. They created the fusion of Rangabati interspersing it with funky English-Tamil rap and Odisha’s anthem Bande Utkala Janai for the MTV Coke Studio.
The original Rangabati sung by popular dalit singer Jitendria Haripal along with Krishna Patel was first aired by the All India Radio studio in Sambalpur in mid-seventies. After it became hugely popular, a music company, Indreco, bought the rights and released it around 1978.