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Delhi’s cultural expansionism

Source : Srilanka Guardian


File Photo

by Mehnab Khan

(December 10, Dhaka, Sri Lanka Guardian) Each time, when Awami League comes in power, a section of so-called event management companies and program organizers become over active in organizing various cultural functions with Indian artistes. The same thing happened in 1996, when Awami League came in power, and it is no exception now.

The most talked about cultural event of 2010 is, Shahrukh Khan Night organized in Dhaka by Antar Showbiz. Just imagine! Who is the owner of this company is. Yes, Swapan Chowdhury, who is a former leader of the youth front of Bangladesh Nationalist Party!

How Swapan Chowdhury manages to organize such huge event? Who are the people behind him?

According to various sources, Antar Showbiz paid US$ 200,000 only to Shahrukh Khan for his few hour performances on December 10, 2010. On the other hand, Rani Mujkherjee has been paid US$ 50,000; Isha Kopikar US$ 25,000; Arjun Rampal US$ 15,000 etc.

The entire amount of remuneration, paid to Indian artistes was smuggled out of Bangladesh through illegal channel. Antar Showbiz never sought any permission from Bangladesh Bank for such huge remittance of foreign currency.

It is also learnt that, Antar Showbiz has cashed US$ 1.5 million from the sales proceeds of tickets, while it has received at least US$ 200,000 from the sponsors. And most surprisingly, Bangladeshi government did not receive even a fraction of the accrued amusement tax and Value Added Tax from the sale of tickets.

And here is the worst part of the story! Antar Showbiz’s owner Swapan Chowdhury sold “private time” with Rani Mukherjee at the rate of US$ 20,000 per 30 minutes. According to information, more than 27 local elites have purchased such “private time” with Rani.

On the other hand, “private time” with Isha Kopikar is sold for US$ 10,000 per 30 minutes. There is also no less rush for spending private time with this sexiest Bollywood star.

Is it not dirty enough? How a local event management company has been allowed to sell such “private time” of foreign artistes almost openly? Shall I call it a high profile pimping service?

And now the unknown story of the main media partner of this controversial event! Fraudulent multi-level marketing company Destiny, as shield of salvaging their skin from public wrath invested significant amount of money in buying a private television channel named Boishakhi TV. This channel has though paid a formidable amount of money to Antar Showbiz for buying exclusive broadcast right, it is continuing to play Indian film songs since December 8, 2010 almost on a regular basis, in the name of running campaign of Shahrukh Khan Night. How such audacious behavior of this TV channel was allowed to be continued during the month of liberation of Bangladesh? Are they willing to place Bangladeshi independence under the feet of their lords in Delhi?

Patriotic people in Bangladesh and media should investigate the entire episode of this question Shahrukh Khan Night. And the entire team of these Bollywood artistes should be properly questioned by Bangladeshi intelligence during their stay to determine, as to how they received such huge amount of foreign currency illegally.

The matter of selling private time of Rani Mukherjee and Isha Kopikar should also be investigated.

We have enough tolerated the cultural expansionism of Delhi. And it is our turn to react. New Delhi should immediately allow Bangladeshi TV channels to be shown in their households. Otherwise, we need to snatch off Indian channels from Bangladesh. As an independent nation, we have our pride. And we have no reason to pledge our dignity, sovereignty and pride to the followers of Chanakya doctrine.


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