Ganesh Chaturthi

Sonu steps up to save live music

22 December,2010 07:40 AM IST |   |  Urvashi Seth

After politicians extend their support to the cause of live music, Bollywood singers decide to protest against the entertainment tax

After politicians extend their support to the cause of live music, Bollywood singers decide to protest against the entertainment tax

The protest against the entertainment tax is gathering momentum as increasing number of people are coming forward to show their solidarity to musicians.

After politicians, it is now the chance of Bollywood singers to come out in support of artistes across the city who could be jobless very soon because of the unjust entertainment tax.

Fans gather at Bandra's amphitheatre on Sunday to protest the revision in the entertainment tax which could render several musicians jobless

Singers from the industry feel it is unfair and have also felt the impact of the entertainment tax as several of these artistes also work as part-time musicians in five-star hotels in the city.

Sonu Niigaam has now decided to support the cause of 'save live music' and feels if action is not taken soon, live music could disappear from the city.
Speaking to MiD DAY, he said, "I was shocked to know that my band members became jobless last month. A lot of my band mates freelance as musicians at various clubs, hotels and bars."

Niigaam grumbled that now even a Neanderthal would know that no bar or hotel would pay such obnoxiously exorbitant amounts simply for a live band and would relieve them and replace them with recorded music.

Another scam?

Commenting on the entertainment tax, Niigaam elaborated further, "While the entire country is embroiled in scams which run into crores, these innocent musicians are being robbed of their daily bread and butter without any hoopla being created. This is a matter of grave concern."

Niigaam said that the entertainment tax is not only robbing the city of the live music scene in the country but also killing the growth of music in the city.

"Now, parents will think twice before letting their children pursue any kind of music. I request the government to ideate a kinder approach as this is a matter of our cultural heritage."

Niigaam has now called for a meeting of all musicians today, to decide the next move to save the music.

Meldan Dacunha, owner of Soul Fry in Bandra and also the driving force of 'save live music campaign', said, "We were waiting long for renowned musicians to extend their support to this cause.
The recentu00a0 tax imposed will indirectly impact the tourism of the state. Hope singers like Shaan, and the trio of Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy come out in support of musicians too."

Narayan Alva, president of Indian Hotel and Restaurant Association (AHAR), feels the move made by the government is terrible and needs to be addressed immediately.

"Why can't the government ask the industry for suggestions before imposing such rules?

Once the law is imposed it becomes difficult for a hotel owner or for the association to convince the government to repeal the law which has rendered many of them jobless," said Alva at the association's 31st Annual General Body meeting which was held at Kurla yesterday.

protest live music entertainment tax mumbai