‘Rangabati’ Row: Jitendriya Haripal Takes On Sona, Praises Shankar Mahadevan

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Bhubaneswar: Who is Sona Mohapatra to decide who will sing Sambalpuri folk song ‘Rangabati…Rangabati? And what was her contribution to popularize the song at the state or national level?”

These are the questions now raised by the original singer of the song, Jitendriya Haripal, in his reply to Sona Mohapatra who via tweets yesterday had questioned the ‘Odia pride’ of the organizers of the 22nd Asian Athletics Chamiponships for inviting Bollywood singer Shankar Mahadevan to sing ‘Rangabati’ at the inaugural ceremony on July 5 here.

The duet singers Jitendriya Haripal and Krishna Patel, music director Prabhudutta Pradhan and lyricist Mitrabhanu Gauntia were present on stage while Shankar and his troupe performed the song. Shankar even had sought the blessings of the four artists before his performance and requested to pardon in case of any pronunciation error since Odia is not his forte.

Defending Shankar Mahadevan and the state government who had invited the singer, Jitendriya said that the famous Bollywood singer has taken it to a new high while Sona in her rendition earlier had hurt the sentiments of lakhs of Odias.

The famous ‘Rangabati’ song was first aired by the Sambalpur regional centre of the All India Radio in the seventies. Then its popularity was heightened by audio cassettes. Rest, as they say, is history.