August 31, 2012 11:58 IST
The film wing of MNS has asked the private channel not to air the programme and threatened to disrupt the shoot if its diktat is not complied with
When Asha Bhosle sat on the judge's seat of Indian Idol this season, a section of her followers thought it was a step down for the legendary singer as her opinion on the contestants were being challenged by the likes of Anu Malik and Sunidhi Chauhan, artists who would perhaps never be able to match her might in the world of music.
But Ashaji seems to have been well and truly bitten by the reality bug. On Thursday, she was at the unveiling of yet another music based reality show. Once again she was revealed to be one of the judges. This time, the other members of the judiciary were more suited to her standing in the industry. For Sur Kshetra, Ashaji will be accompanied by legendary sufi singers Runa Laila from Bangladesh and Abida Parveen from Pakistan.
But a discordant chord was struck by Raj Thackeray's Maharashtra Navnirman Sena who threatened to disrupt the proceedings. The MNS had made clear that it would not tolerate Pakistani singers on an Indian television show. TV Channels Sahara One and Colours who will simulcast the show were told in no uncertain terms about the consequences while Asha Bhosle herself was sent a letter asking her to refrain from being a part of the show.
When asked about her reaction, Asha Bhosle spoke in chaste Marathi, "I am a proud Maharashtrian and I really love Raj Thackeray. I also know that he too loves me and listens to my songs at home. However, I am no politician, I am just a singer and a family person. Between my music and family I don't have the time for all this." She added that, "Only humans have the ability to respect other humans."
Sur Kshetra is a show where the singers of Pakistan and India under the tutelage of Atif Aslam and Himesh Reshamiya respectively will battle it out for the top prize and while the promos of the show seem to pull no punches at the presser, Atif Aslam sang of love and brotherhood. "We are not here to compete we want love and friendship to win through music," he said.
Filmmaker Boney Kapoor, a board director of Sahara One which is producing the show, said: "That is not for me to decide. I will have a meeting with the board members and then we will take a stand on it."
Around 18 episodes of the show have already been shot and edited. September 8th is the telecast date and while MNS may be a threat for the channels, it is one that might, for once, be overshadowed by the promise of legends like Abida Parveen, Asha Bhosle and Runa Laila sharing the same space.