A Bangladeshi social media star was called in by police and forced to apologize for his out-of-tune singing, the Hindustan Times reports. “Hero” Alom loves to make videos of himself performing classic songs and his videos have millions of views online, but authorities want him to stop immediately.
- “Hero” Alom is a pretty big star on social media. He has nearly two million Facebook followers and nearly 1.5 million YouTube subscribers thanks to his unique singing and hilarious videos. One of his videos for “Arabian Song” which features him in traditional Arab clothing standing on a sand dune while superimposed camels appear in the background, has more than 17 million views. In other words, he’s kind of a big deal.
- It’s his performance of classic songs that’s drawn the most ire. “Hero” Alom has performed two songs considered to be national treasures in Bangladesh by national poet Kazi Nazrul Islam and Nobel laureate Rabindranath Tagore. It may have been these songs that led him to be “mentally tortured” by police last week.
- Alom opened up about his run-in with authorities and it sounds wild. Alom told AFP that police told him to stop performing classical songs and forced him to sign an “apology” bond. He claims police also told him that he’s too ugly to sing. “The police picked me up at 6 am and kept me there for eight hours. They asked me why I sing Rabindra and Nazrul songs,” he recalled.
- He did have to apologize in the end. Dhaka’s chief detective Harun ur Rashid told reporters that Alom apologized for wearing police uniforms without permission in his videos and for singing the classic songs. He went on to say that the run-in with Alom was valid as people wouldn’t stop calling the police on him. “We received many complaints against him,” Harun said. “[He] totally changed the [traditional] style [of singing] … He assured us that he won’t repeat this.”
- Alom’s fans have come to his defense. They took to social media to voice their continued support for the artist, with journalist Aditya Arafat remarking: “I am not a fan of your songs or your acting. But if there is an attempt to muzzle your voice, I stand up against it.” Another supporter, Sanjida Khatun Rahki, wrote: “Don’t be broken. You are a hero. No matter what others say, you are a real hero.”
Here’s hoping “Hero” Alom keeps on singing!