Legendary singer SP Balasubrahmanyam recently revealed that he was baffled by the preferential treatment that was meted out to some members of the film fraternity at an event hosted by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in New Delhi.
He shared selfies taken by Bollywood stars with PM Modi and wondered why he was not allowed to carry his mobile phone. “I am grateful to Ramoji Raoji, (Eenadu), because of whom I was able to attend a reception hosted by our Hon. Prime Minister at his home on the 29th of Oct. Upon entering the premises, we were asked to leave our cellphones with the security personnel and were given tokens for the same. But I was bewildered at the STARS taking selfies with the PM on that day. THINGS THAT MAKE YOU GO HMMM????? (sic),” SPB wrote on his Facebook page.
SP Balasubrahmanyam has sung more the 40,000 songs in 16 different languages in a career spanning nearly 55 years. He has bagged a slew of prestigious recognitions, including Padma Shri (2001), Padma Bhushan (2011) and about six National Awards.
The star-studded event was hosted by the PMO to mark the 150th birthday celebration of Mahatma Gandhi. And, Balasubrahmanyam wasn’t the only south Indian celebrity who felt neglected at the event hosted by PM Modi. Upasana, an entrepreneur and wife of Tollywood star Ram Charan, was the first celebrity to call attention to the dismal representation of the south film industry at the event.
“Dearest @narendramodi ji. We in the South of INDIA admire you & are Proud to have you as our Prime Minister. With all due respect we felt that the representation of Leading personalities & cultural icons was limited only to Hindi Artists and The South Film Industry was neglected. I express my feelings with pain & hope it’s taken in the right spirit. Jai Hind,” she said in a statement posted on her social media handles.
Actor-politician Khushbu also took offence to the lack of south actors at the event. “With all due respect to all those who met our Prime Minister Narendra Modi ji last evening on behalf of Indian cinema, would like to remind the Prime Minister’s office that Hindi films alone do not represent or contribute to the economy of this country. South Indian cinema is the largest contributor.”
Would really appreciate if my pioneers and peers who have made South Indian cinema a pride of the country, are invited and shown same respect as I feel they rightly deserve it. Expecting @PMOIndia to look into it.
— KhushbuSundar ❤️ (@khushsundar) October 20, 2019
She added, “South Indian cinema represents our country globally. The best of talent comes from south india. The biggest superstars come from south india. India’s best actors belong to south india. Best technicians are South Indian. So why was South industry not invited? Why this inequality?”