Bollywood actress and model Sunny Leone, who allegedly mispronounced certain words while singing the Indian national anthem during a Pro Kabaddi League event in Mumbai last week, now has a police complaint filed against her by a man named Ullas from Delhi. Ullas has alleged that Leone sang the national anthem incorrectly.
According to Ullas, it was unacceptable for a celebrity to make such mistakes, as it would be a “bad influence” on the fans. He further went on to say that the actress, who is of Indian origin and raised in Canada, should have practiced the song well before singing it at the event.
The Prevention of Insults to National Honour Act, 1971 prohibits desecration of or insult to the country’s national symbols, which include the National Flag, Constitution, map, and the National Anthem. Given India’s diverse linguistic population, and the number of dialects of even a single language that coexist, it would be unreasonable to expect a standard pronunciation of the anthem.
The national anthem was originally written in Bengali by Rabindranath Tagore, using sadhu Bengali or tatsama Bengali, a heavily sanskritised version which shares many words with several other Indian languages.
Sunny Leone had expressed pride over singing the national anthem hours before the show:
— ProKabaddi (@ProKabaddi) July 21, 2016
Weeks before performing, Leone had shared a picture of herself practicing the national anthem for the event.
Went head on w/one of my biggest fears-singing out loud!Spent the month rehearsing!Hope u like it!! pic.twitter.com/b8chjZ7rt4
— Sunny Leone (@SunnyLeone) July 4, 2016
Amitabh Bachchan, who sang the national anthem for the same event last year, also had a complaint filed against him this year, for singing the national anthem over 1 minute 22 seconds (beyond the permissible limit of 52 seconds) at the World T20 cricket match between India and Pakistan this March.
Incidentally, the complaint filed against him was by a Delhi-based man named Ulhas PR. While there is no confirmation whether it is the same man, both complaints are uncannily similar.
Meanwhile, Sunny Leone told PTI News recently that she has been taking Hindi lessons as she still confuses the masculine and feminine gender of words in a sentence. “People don’t correct me because they think ‘Oh how cute’.