Anger and rage. Calls for prosecution for sedition. Invoking the Constitution. Expressing concern for future generations.
All standard fare nowadays. But this time, it was from unlikely sources: Mita Huq, Sadi Mohammed, Khairul Anam Shakil, noted singers all. What has aroused their wrath?
And what does Khiyo have to do with it all?
Khiyo is a British-Bangladeshi band. According to their website:
Khiyo is a London-based British-Bengali band that gives Bengali heritage music a modern acoustic sound. The band members have backgrounds that include Western classical, rock, jazz, blues, Nazrul Sangeet, Bengali folk and Indian classical.
Banglanews headlines the three grandees above expressing shock and outrage at Khiyo’s rendition of Amar Sonar Bangla, Bangladesh’s national anthem. Sadi Mohammed goes as far as to call for their prosecution for sedition. The only person whose comments contain a sense of balance and perspective is Maqsud, who refuses to make much out of this molehill.
Artists are supposed to be unconventional and free-spirited. That these three would react like this is a sad indictment of Bangladeshi society, and the real absence of tolerance and pluralism, not only within the political class, but in every other part of the society.
But one thing’s for sure, somewhere out there, Beyonce is breathing a sigh of relief at not having been born in Bangladesh.