Singer Sona Mohapatra slams IIT Bombay organizers for mysogynistic request for performing onstage

Mumbai,Dec17:Singer Sona Mohapatra on Friday criticised the organisers of Mood Indigo, the annual college festival of IIT-Bombay, and accused them of being ‘sexist’ for asking her to “get a man along with her to perform on their stage”.

In her post, which is over 1,200 words, Mohapatra also highlighted a larger trend of ‘big music festivals’ of following the same practice of not having solo women performers as their headliners.

“What cultural festival has for decades showcased only men headliners on their stage, be it music, literature, politics, comedy or any other domain? Yours – Mood-I,” she wrote, adding that other college campuses in India copy-paste this ‘disgusting blueprint of IIT’.

Mohapatra added that for three years, she had received calls from Mood-I for a concert, but with a ‘caveat’. “A man needs to be clubbed in on the marquee to validate my stage, a paid stage in particular. The ‘men’ have homes to support, we women just ‘work’ for ‘fun’!” she added.

The singer also went on to criticise larger festivals such as NH7 for following the same route. “You have good company in festivals like NH7 & other big music festivals in such discriminatory practices, so take heart (one Anoushka Grammy Shankar doesn’t change the obvious, you boys!)” she wrote.

This isn’t the first time Mohapatra has been in the news for expressing her opinion on social media. Earlier this year, the singer was attacked by die-hard Salman Khan fans for criticising the actor’s comments on rape. “Women thrashed, people run over, wildlife massacred & yet #hero of the nation. ‘Unfair’. India full of such supporters,” she had tweeted.

When contacted, a spokesperson for IIT said that the institute had indeed approached Mohaptra, but she had quoted a sum, which was beyond their budget. “IIT-Bombay is the last place where you would encounter sexism. In fact, last month we had an event at our management institute where Tulsi Kumar gave a solo performance. Earlier this year, Asha Bhosle, too, had performed inside IIT,” the spokesperson said.