Features Friday, February 06, 2015 - 05:30
Haritha John & Siddharth Mohan Nair| The News Minute| February 2, 2015| 2.00 pm IST Mohanlal is undoubtedly one of the most revered stars in the Malayalam film industry, but why should Kerala’s public money be wasted on his singing talent, this is the question doing rounds in the state. The controversy revolves around the debut performance of his music band Lalisom at the inaugural of the 35th National Games on Saturday in Thiruvananthapuram. Documents procured through RTI show that the band was paid Rs. 1.8 crore in total, and Mohanlal and Vineeth was individually paid Rs. 20 lakh for a dance show paying tribute to Kerala’s freedom fighter Kunyali Marakkar. CPI(M) MLA V. Shivankutty who procured these documents through RTI has demanded an inquiry into why public money was wasted on a band's performance and that too a bad performance.  RTI reply  Is Rs. 1.8 crore to Lalisom justified? Rs. 1.8 crore that was paid included payments to the band and other top singers like Hariharan, Alka Yagnik, M.G. Sreekumar, Sujatha, Udit Narayan and Karthik. Though all top singers were in the line up, most of the songs were sung by actor Mohanlal himself. The question being asked is why was public money spent for promoting his amateur brand and not paid for any established musical band. "This was an opportunity and stage for brand promotion of Lalisom. The singers need to be paid, that's true. But this was not any musical band playing. This was a big stage given for the debut performance of a band, brand creation at state's expense,” says MLA Shivankutty. Popular traditional musicians and folk artists got peanuts in comparison to Lalisom Percussionist artist Mattannoor Sankarankutty and his troop of 100 people who played chendas (a kind of drum) were paid Rs. 5.5 lakh only. Another bunch of artists led by Karunamoorthy, a Thavil exponent was paid Rs 2.10 lakh. A dance performed by artists from all over India, depicting the rivers in India, was paid a total of Rs. 1.7 crore. Meanwhile actor Shobhana and her team of 40 dancers and live orchestra were paid Rs. 25 lakh. \ RTI reply While it is a known fact that traditional artists get paid much lesser compared to actors, the large discrepancy in payments has been questioned by many.  Crores for a crappy performance Lalisom has been criticized heavily for its crappy performance at the National Games. Videos of Mohanlal holding the mike and standing still while his songs, which were pre-recorded, have gone viral. Critics have said that money was paid for a fake 'live show,' as many songs were pre-recorded. The worst part is that Mohanlal did a poor job with the lip syncing. Demands that Mohanlal should return the money are being made by the CPI (M), it remains to be seen if the actor will oblige. Read- Mohanlal's band gets trolled on social media: From Lalisom to Lolism Tweet  Follow @thenewsminute

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