The district entertainment duty department has already raked in Rs 15 lakh as tax from ticket sales to the December 15 performance by controversial rapper ‘Yo Yo’ Honey Singh for his upcoming show at Balewadi stadium. Sources say this is the largest amount the administration has collected from a single event, apart from cricket matches at the city’s international stadium.
If officials of ED department are believed, 8,000 tickets — with a starting price of Rs 750 — have already been sold, and the organisers have completed all the formalities for getting permission from the government and the cops. “Bearing in mind the brouhaha that happened during international DJ Dash Berlin’s show in the city, we are taking extra care this time. We have already made sure that no foreign national would be performing in Honey Singh’s show,” said ED department head Mohini Chavan.
In the month of October, organisers of the Dash Berlin event failed to secure authorisation from the state home ministry, and then the city cops had to stop the show midway, which disappointed music buffs. Meanwhile, Shiv Sena city chief Shyam Deshpande has demanded that police cancel the show immediately, otherwise his party workers would have to take matters into their own hands.
“I have heard a few of his songs, and the lyrics are extremely obscene. We will not allow anyone to spoil the culture of our city, and if police are not going to cancel this show, Sena workers will stop it,” added Deshpande. Kiran Moghe, state president of All India Democratic Women’s Organisation, said that she was surprised that people were actually purchasing tickets to the show.
“Even if someone organises a show, people should compel them to cancel it, by shunning such vulgar music shows that demean women,” said Moghe.
Some students too have expressed dismay at Singh being allowed to perform in the city, when his shows have been cancelled in other parts of the country owing to his controversial lyrics.
“I find his songs very tuneful, but I do not think the lyrics are appropriate. They are derogatory towards women, and as one, I find that’s insulting. He should make songs, which are not just good to the ears, but also send a virtuous message to society,” said journalism student Disha Mashelkar. However, Keshav Naidu, coordinator of Dovlin Entertainment Private Limited, the firm that is organising the show, said that Singh would only be performing Bollywood numbers.
Approximate number of tickets to the show sold till now, according to the district entertainment duty department
> In December 2012, the Gurgaon hotel, which had organised Honey Singh’s performance, cancelled it, after online outrage over his allegedly misogynistic and offensive lyrics.
> In August 2013, Singh’s performance in Nagpur too was also called off, after Shiv Sena and MNS workers agitated against the show.