Sonu Nigam isn't a name one often associates with controversies on Twitter. But on Wednesday afternoon, an all-out war between the 41-year-old singer and Zee Network launched a hashtag — #IStandWithSonuNigam — which trended at the number 1 position in India.
It all started on Monday, when Nigam posted this tweet.
I am far from politics but I feel this truth should come out for the sake of my poet friend Kumar Vishwas. https://t.co/E4QWJrgg6c— Sonu Nigam (@sonunigam) April 26, 2015
The video linked to the tweet, published on April 23, contradicts a news report by Zee News, which shows Aam Aadmi Party leader Dr Kumar Vishwas speaking at the infamous rally where Gajender Singh, a poor farmer from Rajasthan, hung himself from a tree nearby.
The video tweeted out by Nigam purported to show that Zee News had overdubbed a second voice asking 'Latak gaya?' ('Has he been hung/hung himself?') and deliberately misattributed it to Vishwas.
Nigam justified his political stance on the issue in a series of tweets later.
Glad 2 see a nice response 2 my tweet last night. My duty is 2 be rational. True 2 what I see. Irrespective of d party or d person.— Sonu Nigam (@sonunigam) April 27, 2015
It's a simple case of some1 close 2 d cameras uttering those words. Not mischievously but by chance perhaps. It's only fair, 2 be fair. Love— Sonu Nigam (@sonunigam) April 27, 2015
However, one day later, some ominous news surfaced. Noted film trade analyst Komal Nahta tweeted from his personal account that Zee Music company had, for all intents and purposes, black-listed the singer.
Heard, Zee Music Co. will not buy music with Sonu Nigam’s songs. Reason unknown. The singer would be replaced in their forthcoming films.— Komal Nahta (@KomalNahta) April 28, 2015
Nigam responded to the news with bemusement.
So now Zee announces a ban on me. :) What do I say.. God bless everyone.— Sonu Nigam (@sonunigam) April 28, 2015
Wonder should it not be illegal to ban someone on the pretext of nothing in a democracy? Influencing others to not work with an individual.— Sonu Nigam (@sonunigam) April 28, 2015
Well legal or illegal, one thing's for sure. Banning someone, is definitely unGodly.— Sonu Nigam (@sonunigam) April 28, 2015
His fans on Twitter have taken this reaction very, very seriously and have offered their full support to the singer.
Music composer and fellow singer Vishal Dadlani also offered his support.
There has, however, been no official response from the Zee Group about the incident or about any decision to drop Nigam from its films.