The ripples of the ‘Kiss controversy’ in February, when Assam’s singer Angarag Papon Mahanta was caught on camera 'kissing' a minor participant of a music reality show, has affected the singer’s chances of performing in the city this Rongali Bihu.
None of the Bihu organisers has approached him this year, which was not the case two years back when a performance by Mahanta was virtually mandatory in most of the major Bihu functions in the city.
Without getting involved in any controversy, Karendra Kalita, president of Bharalumukh Bihu committee said, “We have not invited him (Mahanta). His reputation has taken a major beating after the incident and we do not want any part of it in our function.”
Same goes with Kailash Sarma, member of the Latasil Bihu Committee who said, “We don’t know how people would react to him. Moreover, he charges a lot.”
Two cases have been registered against Mahanta – a suo moto case by Mumbai Police and another by Assam Police as directed by the Assam State Commission for Protection of Child Rights (ASCPCR), the investigation of which are still going on.
Another organiser, Paban Dutta, president of New Guwahati Bihu Committee, said, “While, last year, we all approached him and then shied away hearing his signing fee, this year, we did not approach him. We are not sure if people would like him.”
It may be mentioned that last year too, Papon did not perform here citing “Bollywood commitments”.