The Telegraph
Monday , October 15 , 2012
Since 1st March, 1999
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Mary Kom backs singer

Imphal, Oct. 14: Olympic bronze medallist Mary Kom has supported Manipuri singer T. Mandakini Devi’s demand to know the reason for her ouster from the Sa Re Ga Ma Pa Singing Superstars competition.

Mary Kom who met Mandakini and her brother T. Bijesh at her home today, said, “I don’t know much about the rules and regulations of the competition. But I think the organisers should give an explanation why her name was cut out after she was declared one of the 15 finalists.”

The singer had visited the pugilist’s home for suggestions on competing on the big stage.

Mandakini, who is visually impaired, had made it to the top 15 through a series of rou-nds in the singing contest, in which 1.5 lakh aspirants from all over the world took part.

She took part in the first level of the competition in Guwahati, followed by two more rounds in Calcutta and Mumbai, where the mega competition to select the top 15 finalists took place.

Her rendition of the title song of the Zeenat Aman-Shashi Kapoor starrer Satyam Shivam Sundaram, led her to be selected for the final round.

“After the organisers announced the first four names, I was overjoyed to hear my name as one of the finalists. All the selected 15 participants were given separate seats and medals,” Mandakini said.

However, her name and that of four others, including one from Canada, who were selected in the top 15 initially, were not in the list announced again by the organisers on October 11.

The fresh list was made without any competition, Mandakini claimed. Bijesh, who took his sister to Mumbai for the contest, said, “They did not give us any reason for excluding my sister’s name after declaring she was among the top 15 competitors. This is unjustified and unreasonable.”

Mandakini, who is also a playback singer in Manipuri films, has two single albums to her credit. She is also an artiste at the Imphal station of All India Radio. Her version of Colombian singer Shakira’s popular song, Waka Waka, has impressed listeners here.

Other popular singers of Manipur like Ranbir Thouna said Mandakini deserved a clarification from the organisers. “Otherwise people would lose faith in the sincerity of the organisers,” he said.

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