CONCERT CONTROVERSY IN INDIA: Local musicians express solidarity with Miles

Cultural Correspondent

Local band musicians have expressed their solidarity with Miles after it was dropped from the line-up of a concert slated for August 13 in Kolkata on grounds of ‘anti-India comments’ made by the band.
The musicians have also accused Kolkata-based rock band Fossils’ frontrunner Rupam Islam, who refused to perform on the same stage with Miles causing the controversy, of giving personal comments a political colour to victimise Miles as a band.
They also said Rupam had misinterpreted Miles vocalist Shafin Ahmed’s comments in an attempt to earn cheap popularity and put pressure on the Azadi Festival organisers to drop Miles from its line-up.
‘Politics and music are different issues and should not be mixed up like Rupam did. Miles as a band should not be victimised for Shafin’s personal comments,’ said Foad Naser Babu, frontrunner of Feedback and also vice president of Bangladesh Musical Bands Association.
In this regard, eminent musician Ayub Bachchu said, ‘Rupam made a mistake for which Miles had to pay. And now, what the members of the two bands are doing to justify their own positions, by uploading video messages on social media sites, is unexpected and harmful to the friendly relations between the musicians of the two countries.’
The local musicians also criticised Kolkata-based Red MM radio station, organiser of the concert, for giving in to the pressure from Fossils and replacing Miles with another Indian band called Chandrabindu.
The ongoing blame-game should stop immediately for the sake of both the industries, they added.
‘I don’t know the reason behind the hostile relation between the two bands. But I hope they will stop this blame-game which is causing tension among their fans,’ said Nagor Baul vocalist-guitarist James.
Meanwhile, Indian musicians have also called for de-escalation of tension.
Actor-musician Parambrata Chattarjee, in a post on his Facebook page, said that sweeping comments made by the fans of both the bands are making the situation vulnerable. He urged everyone to exercise restraint.
The controversy surrounding the concert arose after Fossils refused to perform with Miles in the concert, arguing that Shafin had made ‘derogatory’ comments about India and Indian politicians in his Facebook posts.
Shafin denied the accusations, saying what he wrote about some issues hampering the national interests of Bangladesh was a ‘personal matter’ and a reflection of his patriotism.
‘There was nothing anti-Indian about that,’ he said.
He also called Rupam’s action ‘shameful’ and ‘unprofessional.’

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