Odisha Actor Papu Pam Pam Mimics Viral Singer Ranu Mandal, Apologises after Protests
An FIR was later lodged against Papu at the Nischintakoili police station in Cuttack district, accusing him of insulting Ranu Mandal and hurting sentiments of people from Odisha who admire her rags-to-riches story.
A screengrab shows Papu Pam Pam in the video.
Bhubaneswar: Never far away from controversies, Odia movie actor Papu Pam Pam on Tuesday drew criticism on and off social media for allegedly mimicking internet sensation Ranu Mandal in a video clip that later went viral.
The actor, whose official name is Tatwa Prakash Satpathy, was seen in the video singing Mandal’s song ‘Teri meri kahani’ in a woman's voice, wearing a yellow saree and sporting fake long hair. After many fans of both Papu and Mandal protested against the video and even received support from a few social activists and personalities in the Odia movie industry, the actor apologised.
An FIR was lodged against Papu at the Nischintakoili police station in Cuttack district, accusing him of insulting Mandal and hurting the sentiments of people from Odisha who admire her rags-to-riches story.
Mandal, a poor widow who used to sing at Ranaghat railway station in West Bengal’s Nadia district, became an internet sensation last month after a video of her singing the popular Lata Mangeshkar song ‘Ek pyar ka naghma hai’ went viral on social media. She recently participated in a television show ‘Superstar Singer’. Singer-composer Himesh Reshammiya, who was a judge on the show, liked her singing and offered her a song in his upcoming film.
Videos of Mandal singing the number ‘Teri meri kahani’ in Reshammiya’s film ‘Happy Hardy and Heer,’ set for release next month, created a sensation on the internet.
“Papubhai has set a very low example (by mimicking Mandal’s singing),” said social activist Linkan Subuddhi.
“While Ranu Mandal has eminently risen from rust to being a star, this person (Papu) is falling from being a star to rust,” said Dilip Hali, noted Odia movie critic.
Dismissing the criticism, Papu said his video was "a gift and a bundle of good wishes from one artiste to another".
"This was the motive behind my effort, but soon it was brought into controversy by some people. If one goes on nitpicking, everything will appear problematic,” he said. “People even point at imperfections in God. I am just a human being. My aim (behind the video) was positive. I apologise if it has hurt anyone. But I request everyone to accept well-intentioned efforts in a positive manner.”
Pau a week ago was embroiled in another controversy over the poster of his upcoming Odia movie ‘Mr Kanhaiya’. The poster, which showed him holding seven young women by leashes, was dubbed misogynist and drew protests from across the state. Papu appeared to have worsened matters by attacking sprint queen Dutee Chand who had spoken up about it and sought withdrawal of the poster.
After Chand threatened legal action against him for making snide remarks about her sexuality, Papu had apologised to her. Chand, 23, is India’s first openly gay athlete.
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