So late last week news broke that Mika Singh had been arrested and he now stands accused of sending obscene pictures to a Brazilian teenage model in Abu Dhabi, even though the Indian Embassy intervened to get him released for a period of time, it was widely reported that he had returned to Police custody and remains there still.
This unfortunately is not the first time a Punjabi singer has been caught in such as case, it was only July this year that we saw Deep Money booked for rape, August saw Surinder Shonki booked for the rape of a minor, and add to that Nachhater Gill, and previous to that singer Jelly jailed for gang rape, Punjabi singers are not immune to such allegations.
Punjabi actress Priya Lakhanpal, who will be seen in an upcoming movie Blackiya starring actor Dev Kharoud, had filed an FIR in 2017 against a Punjabi film producer who used lewd words in one of the meetings.
“Mika’s incident doesn’t come as a surprise to me. What makes you think such incidents do not take place in the Punjabi film and music industry? Here, 95 per cent of the girls (wannabe models, actresses and even well-known ones) keep mum because they fear losing work.”
But at the same time Priya criticizes female artistes and models for not objecting such untoward situations.
“Being an artiste from the Punjabi film industry I have no qualms in saying that girls are ready to compromise for work, and when they do not get it, they raise a huge fuss and cry.”
Sapan Manchanda, director, Fivewood Media, and the man behind the Pollywood directory, shares how difficult it is to generalize the situation
“It is simple, jo fadeya gya oh chor, nahi tan saadh (one who is caught is thief, else he is a saint). It would be wrong to say that the entire Punjabi entertainment industry is bad or manipulative, yes there are some artistes who manipulate others.”
Sapan doesn’t pin point on any particular department (actors, singers, producer or directors) however.
“Much of this problem has risen due to unprofessional people (fake financers, who are not the real producers) who are lured because of glamour. You will see some 20-30 films that are announced but eventually they do not see the light of the day. The people behind these films give the actresses a cheque of Rs 1-2 lakh and then hang around with these actresses calling it a part of work.”
Face the music
For some, this might come as a revelation, but for the industry insiders, there is nothing new in it. Although there has been an increase in the number of molestation or rape cases being reported, female artistes in the industry still fear coming out in the open.
Punjabi model and actress Poonam Sood, who was seen in Punjabi movie Wandd and will also be seen in Munda Faridkotia, shares how she stopped getting work in the industry after she complained about a Punjabi movie choreographer who misbehaved with her.
“Why do you think I am not getting work? It is because I am asked to comprise, which of course I wouldn’t, so I have to be satisfied with character roles.”
Daler Mehndi On The Mika Singh Situation:
Mika Singh’s brother Daler Mehndi claimed on Saturday afternoon that’s he is in the dark about the episode that resulted in the arrest of his sibling.
“I don’t know what happened. I haven’t been able to talk to him yet. All I know is that he had gone for a music show and an awards function. Just like everyone, I am watching it all in the news. Even his crew don’t know much about what really happened,” said Mehndi over the phone to Gulf News tabloid!. The singer claimed that he hasn’t even been able to reach Singh’s team who was travelling with him.
Asked if Mehndi believed the charges made against his brother, he said: “Mika is not like that”.
“I trust him. We will know soon what happened. I love him a lot,” said Mehndi.