In Bangladesh, crooner Hero Alom ordered to stop massacring the national repertoire

Hero Alom has nearly two million fans on Facebook and nearly 1.5 million on YouTube where he has been broadcasting his songs in extravagant videos for several years. But the 37-year-old crooner has drawn the wrath of critics, accusing him of butchering classic titles from Bengali Nobel literature laureate Rabindranath Tagore and poet Kazi Nazrul Islam, two national treasures.

“We have received many complaints against himDhaka Police Chief Inspector Harun ur Rashid told reporters. He totally perverted the (traditional) style. We asked him why he did that. He assured us that he wouldn’t do it again.”he added.

Hero Alom claimed to have been “mentally tortured” last week while undergoing police questioning. “The police came to pick me up at six in the morning and kept me eight hourshe said Wednesday in his Dhaka studio, they asked me why I was singing Rabindra and Nazrul songs”.

The police asked him to stop singing these classics and sign a message “apologies”. They also demanded that he no longer appear in a police uniform in his videos and that he change his name, the singer said. “They also told me to take a good look at myself in a mirror, because I don’t look like a hero at all”he continued.

His alias “Hero” stuck with him when he began to find success in his home district of Bogra, 150 kilometers north of Dhaka. “I felt like a hero. I adopted the name Hero Alomhe explained, I won’t give up”. Dhaka Deputy Police Commissioner Farook Hossain denied the singer was asked to change his name. His treatment by the police outraged his fans on social networks, but also human rights defenders. “I’m not a fan of your songs or your acting. But if someone tries to muzzle you, I object”reacted the journalist Aditya Arafat.

Since his interrogation, Hero Alam has released a new video in which he appears behind bars, in prison uniform, looking dejected. “Currently, it seems that we can no longer sing freely in Bangladesh”lamented Hero Alom.

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