Sona Mohapatra’s latest single “Tori Surat” came under the scanner when a Sufi group called Madariya Sufi Foundation allegedly threatened the singer to pull off the song from all communication mediums. As per what Sona wrote in her series of tweets, the group said that the video of the song is obscene and will lead to communal tension. Her lawyer Henal Vakhari clarified that the objections are unwarranted as the video of the song was passed by the Censor Board of Film Certification. “If we are not satisfied with the action taken on our complaint, we will try other remedies too. It’s our constitutional right to ensure our safety and security,” Vakhari told ANI.
The song “Tori Surat” from Sona’s project Lal Pari Mastani has the lyrics of Sufi mystic and disciple of Nizamuddin Auliya, Amir Khusro, a 13th-century poet who is known for his poems on spiritual love. In the video of the song directed by Sneha Shetty, we see the singer with a painted face as she croons the lines of the composition by Ram Sampath. She wears a mix of Indian and western attire, while the background dancers are seen in western outfits. The description of the song on YouTube reads, “This video has Sona in unique earthy incarnations of the feminine divine from different cultures. The looks featured in the video were chosen by all of you on Facebook as a collaborative audience interactive project.”
In her latest tweets, the singer has explained the context of her song, “This song (tori surat) revisits the poetry of Khusro & reinvents the presentation in a musical soundscape that is nothing like a traditional qawali or Abida’s rendition. My friend’s 14 year old & his friends are bobbing to the song while playing football & thousands of teenagers & people in their 20’s who have never heard of Mirabai or Ameer Khusro or Abida are writing in & enjoying Tori Surat. My journey of #LalPariMastani🔴 was with this express purpose, to bridge the ancient to the contemporary & find younger audiences.”
To take ancient poetry that is 700 years old,make a composition & soundscape that is a complete contrast 2 how it is usually presented gives us the opportunity to introduce new generations to these poets.That it might not appeal to everyone is something I am willing to live with.
— SONA (@sonamohapatra) May 3, 2018
She added in another tweet, “To take ancient poetry that is 700 years old, make a composition & soundscape that is a complete contrast 2 how it is usually presented gives us the opportunity to introduce new generations to these poets.That it might not appeal to everyone is something I am willing to live with.”
Ever since the composition has been mired in controversy, its views on YouTube have shot up and many have even commented saying that they came to know about “Tori Surat” only after the Sufi group raised objections over it.