Assam’s newspapers root for Debojit

IN Regional Media | 02/02/2006
Assam’s newspapers root for Debojit



The debate has gained momentum, after the competitor from Assam reached the final of the ongoing Zee TV`s Sa-Re-Ga-Ma-Pa show.


Nava Thakuria

Should media urge the readers to vote for someone? Even if it is about a television show, should newspapers openly carry an appeal to support a contestant from their region? The media is free to publish news items on the event and  can even carry editorials supporting the singer competitor, but should they print a picture of the contestant with a direct plea to vote for him and "Make Assam and Northeast Proud`?

The debate has gained momentum after the competitor from Assam reached the final of the ongoing Zee TV`s Sa-Re-Ga-Ma-Pa show. Debojit Saha, a singing sensation from Silchar in Barak valley of Assam, has received unprecedented response not only from Assam but entire Northeast to help him emerge as the Voice of India. In the last round, Debojit received over 50 lakh votes while the other contestants (Vineet and Hemachandra) were awarded with less than 46 lakh votes.

A Civil Engineering diploma holder, Debojit had taken a pledge to nurture the dream of his late mother to see him as a playback singer. His mother may have left this world already, but Debojit is marching ahead with his mission. And the Hero Honda Sa Re Ga Ma Pa challenge 2005 has given a suitable platform to prove his talent as a budding playback singer.

Anchored by pop singer Shaan, the musical reality show comprises the voting by the audience through SMS, telephone and Internet communication as one of its decisive judgments. To reach one of the final two contestants, Debojit had to pass all hurdles those prevented hundred thousands in the preliminary rounds. The show had reportedly invited 1.2 lakhs participants at the initial stage. The winner is assured of a flat in Mumbai with huge cash prizes.

To make the only contestant from Northeast a winner, the Debojit fan clubs, students` bodies, corporate houses and the common people have started campaigning in the state. While the fan clubs made door-to-door campaign in both the valleys, powerful students bodies including All Assam Students` Union (AASU) and North East Students` Organization (NESO) had officially appealed the people of the region to vote for Debojit. Reliance Mobile has put a number of billboards in the state urging votes for Debojit.

"Debojit is the pride of our region. He has proved his mettle during the competition. The people of Northeast will definitely vote for him," said the senior student leader Samujjal Bhattacharya. The AASU adviser recently addressed the media with the allegation that the show had a  bias  which would demoralize Debojit. Attending the press meet, Debojit`s brother Debashish also cried foul at some mentors of the show. "More recently, a couple of mentors started showing partiality while offering marks to the contenders of Debojit. Following the unpleasant atmosphere in the show, Debojit`s mentor Ismail Darbar (of Devdas and Hum Dil De Chuke Sanam fame) threatened to leave the show," asserted Debashish.

Meanwhile, Debojit offered heartiest thanks to the people of Northeast for extending support to him. In a message to the region, Debojit stated, "I always belong to Northeast and remain as a Northeastern." His supporting mentor Mr Darbar also commented, while speaking to a Guwahati scribe, "I salute the people of Assam for their untiring support to Debojit and I have no words to express my gratitude to them."

Even the media in Assam is not legging behind in pursuing the vote for Debojit. The Assam based newspapers not only covered the show extensively, but also published a  direct appeal to vote for Debojit. Almost all the major dailies of Assam have published  front-page appeals with the photograph of Debojit to vote him. "Vote Debojit and make Northeast No.1 in Zee TV`s Sa Re Ga Ma Pa. SMS DEBOJIT to 7575", flashed a Guwahati based news portal, ( ).

Commenting on local media`s unnecessary intervention, a senior media activist explained, "Assam was mentally DIVided in two valleys - Brahmaputra and Barak. The habitants of Brahmaputra valley, who are mostly Assamese speaking, are always alleged to behave with superiority towards their counterparts in the  primarily Bengali-speaking Barak valley. But to make Debojit win in the show, the people from both the valleys have come together. It is a significant development. The media has convinced itself that it should play a role here."



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