Prime Minister Narendra Modi recently referred to famed yesteryear singer Kishore Kumar as a victim of the 1975-77 Emergency imposed by the then government ruled by Indira Gandhi. Condemning the Congress party, the prime minister said that it was the “arrogance of the Congress and the family” that when the singer efused to sing at their party functions, his songs faced a ban on radio and television. Kishore Kumar’s film ‘Aandhi’ was banned and it could release only once the government got changed in 1977.
Modi’s speech has refreshed the memories of the unpleasant and forgotten chapter of the legendary singer’s life. Kishore Kumar tried to stand up to the dictatorial powers of the then government but eventually had to give up.
It has been more than 30 years that Kishore Kumar passed away but his voice is still ruling millions of fans across the country. However, many of them are not aware of the episode from the singer’s life in which he was allegedly blocked by the then Information and Broadcasting Minister VC Shukla. As per reports, Shukla was a close aide of Indira Gandhi and friend of her younger son Sanjay Gandhi.
The TOI has come up with a report that elaborates the entire dark episode of Kishore Kumar’s life. As per the report, after the imposition of Emergency, the Information and Broadcasting Ministry headed by VC Shukla wanted the film industry to help the government in the promotion of its 20-point programme on Doordarshan and All India Radio. However, Kishore Kumar wasn’t willing to do this. Film producer GP Sippy told mandarins of the ministry that Kishore Kumar wasn’t willing to cooperate.
Kishore Kumar even refused to meet the then Information and Broadcasting joint secretary CB Jain saying that he had heart problems and was unwell. He also told Jain that he didn’t want to sing for radio or TV. Offended with this, the joint secretary told his boss, ministry secretary SMH Burney, that the singer had refused to meet and that he was ‘curt’ and ‘blunt’.
This did not go well with the ministry and all the songs of Kishore Kumar got banned from AIR and Doordarshan. All the films in which he was acting were also listed for ‘further action’ and sales of gramophone records of his songs were frozen.
The muzzling by the government finally worked when Kishore Kumar wrote a letter to the ministry saying that he was willing to cooperate. Then, in a note, joint secretary Jain mentioned that they would first observe the ‘degree of cooperation that he extends’ and then they ‘may lift the ban’.
After PM Modi referred to this episode from Kishore Kumar’s life, the report was all over the social media. Below is how Twitter has reacted to it:
Good to see that following my Tweet and FB post, Kishore Kumar’s ordeal during Emergency has come into spotlight. First, PM @narendramodi mentioned it, and now this @timesofindia story. Every time you listen to Kishore’s immortal songs, think of what Congress did to him. pic.twitter.com/9aHzaDFubn
— Anuj Dhar (@anujdhar) 27 June 2018
This story of singer Kishore Kumar being muzzled during emergency is insightful & disturbing..also shows how Govt officials behave when given random powers: https://t.co/kePbn0jzyI
— Govindraj Ethiraj (@govindethiraj) 27 June 2018
Congress leaders believed in dictatorship due to which they imposed emergency on Kishore Kumar’s songs to compel Indians not to hear Kishore Kumar during emergency . pic.twitter.com/clZo7qcRZ0
— Nareshnathchaturvedi (@Nareshnathchatu) 27 June 2018
This is the fact . Congress was known for its goonism. And always did things against Constitution.
— Akhilesh Kumar Yadav (@loveakhi) 27 June 2018
What are your views about this gesture of the Indira Gandhi government for the celebrated singer? Do let us know in the comments section!