An out-of-tune Bangladeshi singer, with a massive internet following has been warned by the police to stop his painful rendition of songs, sparking outrage on the Internet.
“Hero” Alom, as he is known, has over 2 million Facebook fans and nearly 1.5 million subscribers on YouTube, with his distinctive crooning style and captivating, bawdy videos.
Alom said on Wednesday that the police subjected him to “mental torture” and told him to quit singing classical music, that he was too unattractive to be a singer, and also to sign an “apology” bond.
Narrating his ordeal, Alom said: “The police picked me up at 6am and kept me there for eight hours. They asked me why I sing Rabindra and Nazrul songs.
“At present, it seems you can’t even sing with freedom in Bangladesh,”
One of his songs titled, “Arabian Song,” which has him dressed in traditional Arab outfit on a sand dune with camels in the background, has racked up 17 million views.
However, he has also attracted criticism from his detractors, notably for renditions of two revered national treasures — Nobel laureate Rabindranath Tagore and Bangladesh’s national poet Kazi Nazrul Islam.
Alom claims to have acted in various movies and ran as an independent in the 2018 parliamentary elections in Bangladesh and received 638 votes.
He also explained the he began adopting the nickname “Hero” after gaining popularity in his hometown of Bogra, which is located 150 kilometers north of Dhaka.
“I felt like I am a hero. So I took the name Hero Alom. I won’t drop this name no matter what,” he said.
Alom’s treatment by the police, has now sparked a massive outrage on social media, as many are of the opinion that his fundamental rights to speech and expression was being infringed.
“Don’t be broken. You are a hero. No matter what others say, you are a real hero,” a user named, Sanjida Khatun Rakhi wrote on Alom’s Facebook page.
Also standing up for Alom’s right was a journalist named Aditya Arafat, who commented saying, “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.”