Karnataka-based Suhana Sayeed probably didn’t have an inkling of the kind of controversy a simple song selection for a reality TV show could stir. A contestant in the popular show Sa Re Ga Ma Pa, Sayeed was praised for singing a Hindu devotional song, with judges lauding her for not only her voice but also showing people how music can be a unifying factor that goes beyond religious differences. Now, the 22-year-old has been trolled on Facebook for exactly the same reason.
According to reports, a Facebook page called Mangalore Muslims began trolling her and called her a disgrace to the community. They said she has tarnished the Muslim community by singing before men. Written in Kannada, the post could be reportedly translated as: “Suhana you have tarnished the Muslim Community by singing in front of men. Do not feel that you have achieved a great feat; people who learn to recite Quran in 6 months have achieved more. Your parents have encouraged you to show your beauty to other men, they will not go to heaven because of you. Please give up the pardah that you are wearing as you don’t respect it.”
Many have tried to reach out to Sayeed, but the attempts have proven unsuccessful. In the meanwhile, people have come out in support of the girl’s right to sing what she wants, how she wants to and where she wants to. Women activist Brinda Adige said Sayeed is actually unifying different religions together and added radical men are, therefore, jealous. “She should continue to showcase her talent and because she is breaking a path, the people are jealous especially the radical men in Islam. She should not be bothered by them,” Adige said, adding that the people who are condemning and trolling her on the social media, need to understand Islam is a beautiful religion.
Sayeed sang a Hindu devotional song in the Kannada singing reality show where her performance was much appreciated by the judges. Kannada music director Arjun Janya said she stood as a symbol of unity and showed to the world how all religions can remain in peace and harmony through music.
After Sayeed’s story and the troll post went viral, Mangalore Muslims seems to have responded with yet another post in Kannada, saying that their intention was not personal, and accused Sayeed for working on an agenda and trying to garner sympathy votes from the judges by singing a Hindu devotional song being a Muslim girl. They even accused her of betraying her community.