“Not to sound too pompous, but out of all the cities we have played in, Hyderabad is the city we look forward to the most. The people here have extremely great taste in the music they follow. It is not the kind of city that would go to a concert for the heck of it, it gives a fair chance to everybody. It’s great to be back and also to be playing after the controversy,” says Palash Sen whose band Euphoria headlined the second day of the Seagram’s 100 pipers City of M festival.
The versatile singer who has been embroiled in a controversy for his sexist remarks at IIT-Bombay says that playing in the city of Nizams is a welcome distraction. He also clears the air when asked about the concert. “It is not at all true what has been reported. Nobody has bothered to clarify with me or check the veracity of what is being said. My quotes were taken out of context,” explains Palash. Ever since the whole issue went viral on the internet, Palash has received quite a backlash on his remarks. Explaining what happened at the concert, he says, “I announced to the crowd if I could hear the voices of the ladies there? As there were few girls present whose voices couldn’t be heard properly, the boys started saying no girls are there. Then I asked them who are these girls I see. They said Humne bahar se mangwai hai(We got them from outside). So I said girls are God’s most beautiful creations and boys, the most intelligent. After this the boys and girls started showing thumbs down to the guys and the boys did vice-versa. So I told them aisa mat bolon inmese koi na koi ladkiyan tum ladkon ke liye roti banayengi aur tum ladkon mein se koi na koi in ladkiyon ke per dabayega (Don’t say this. At some point some of these girls will make rotis for you and some of these boys will press your feet). So if you are writing ‘girls will make rotis for you why didn’t you write about the ‘guys pressing your feet.”
The artiste is also pretty upset about being blacklisted from IIT-Bombay. The organisers of the festival had issued a statement condemning his remarks after the concert. “I read that IIT Bombay has blacklisted me on the basis of complaints of two students that have not been verified. It’s very sad. Why don’t they release the video footage and show what really it took place. I’m an extremely upright man. Why should I bow down to a lie?”
Coming back to what keeps Euphoria busy these days, Palash says they are working on their song ‘Walk On’ which sends a social message which will be released in January. The 48-year-old has also directed the video of the song which had a cast of 200 volunteers from BPO’s and call centers in Gurgaon. “Every year we do something with a social cause.
The song Walk on is about using less vehicles and more alternative mode of transport like walking, cycling etc. We are living in an environment which is getting more polluted everyday due to the sheer number of cars on the road so it’s in reference to that.Last year it was on Girl child which is really surprising as I have been called a sexist now.” Having acted in films like Filhaal, Mumbai Cutting, Palash is also set to make his Bengali debut in the film Sondhe Namar Agey opposite Rituporna Sengupta.
“It is a thriller which is based on a novel by Agatha Christie. I think something like this hasn’t been tried before in Bengali cinema. So I’m very excited about it. I have sung the title song in the film as well.”
At the moment however, it is understandable that clearing his name is the foremost in Palash’s mind. “Right now, I think it’s important to clear my name in this controversy. I don’t hold any grudge against anybody. I just want clarify whatever has happened.”