Controversy has erupted in Assam over a newly released song titled “Dotara” produced by T-Series, which is being strongly criticized by Goalpariya folk artists for misrepresenting the state’s culture and tradition. The song, sung by Bollywood singers Jubin Nautiyal and Payal Dev and produced by Bhushan Kumar, features a music video with Mouni Roy and Jubin Nautiyal.
However, folk artists in Assam are outraged that the song misrepresents the “Komola Sundori Nache” composition of eminent folk singer Pratima Barua Pandey, and have accused the producers of hurting Goalporiya folk elements.
Folk musician Joba Chakraborty expressed her disappointment, calling the incident “shameful” and the presentation of the song “quite obscene”. She also claimed that Jubin Nautiyal had claimed the song as his creation, which was unacceptable.
Another individual from Goalpara demanded an immediate ban on the song, stating that it had hurt their sentiments and insulted their culture and traditions. The controversy is reminiscent of a similar incident in 2020, where singer and rapper Badshah was accused of plagiarising Ratan Kahar’s Bengali folk song “Borlok er Bitilo” in his single “Genda Phool,” which featured Bollywood star Jacqueline Fernandez.
The music video for “Dotara” has drawn comparisons to “Genda Phool” due to both songs incorporating Bengali folk culture into their remixes. However, the backlash against “Dotara” highlights the importance of respecting and accurately representing the traditions and creations of local artists and musicians. As such, there are calls for greater scrutiny and accountability in the production and release of music that incorporates folk culture.
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