Neha Singh Rathore, a Bhojpuri singer, has been served a notice by the Uttar Pradesh police over her series of songs that go 'UP mein kya ba' (What’s on in UP).
On Thursday night, Rathore was served the one page notice at her home in Akbarpur- a city some 300 kilometres from Lucknow.
The notice asks Rathore seven questions, in relation to her series of songs that raise about issues as varied as unemployment and the safety of women.
One question is about whether it is Rathore in the video, ‘UP mein kya ba, season 2’; and whether the Twitter account @nehafolksinger has been registered from her e mail id. Another wonders if the lyrics of the song are written by her and if she can prove the same. The most, seemingly important question is, if Rathore was aware of the impact the meanings of her songs can have on society.
Eleven hours before the filing of this report, Rathore uploaded a video of her being served the notice by half a dozen police personnel. In the video, she asks the team: "Kaun itna pareshan karwa raha hai aapko?” (who is bothering you so much) to which a policeman responds, “Yeh toh aap pareshan kar rahi hain, hum kyun pareshan kar rahe hain” (You are one bothering (us), why will we bother you?).
Rathore has some 867,000 plus subscribers on her YouTube channel which has 32 videos. On Twitter, her bio reads, ‘Fighting to restore the honour of Bhojpuri that has been ripped off by the sleazy movie songs’.
On February 16, she posted the song in question which goes, ‘Baba ke darbar ma, dhahat ghar baar ba, UP mein kya ba’ (in Baba’s kingdom homes are demolished, what’s on in UP). After a bit, the lyrics go, ‘Yehi bulldozer par Baba ko naaj ba’ (is this the bulldozer that Baba is proud of?) The reference in this song is to the demolition of a house in rural Kanpur during which a mother and daughter duo immolated themselves. The incident took place on February 13.
Rathore has to respond to the police’s queries within three days failing which, as the notice says, appropriate action under the Indian Penal Code and the Criminal Procedure Code shall be taken against her.