Punjabi singer Daler Mehndi was on Friday sentenced to two years in jail by a Patiala court in connection to a 2003 human trafficking case. He was later granted bail.
In a Twitter post, Daler Mehndi said: “This case has been going on since last 14 years with my brother, who unfortunately passed away last year, as the main accused. Even after court found no evidence against me, with assumption that my brother was under my umbrella, court has put out this verdict.”
“This saddens me but I have complete faith in God that truth will come out soon. We will approach the session’s court for justice. I would like to thank all my loved ones all across the world for their support, love and good wishes.”
It was alleged that Daler Mehndi and his brother Shamsher Singh used to send people abroad illegally disguised as their troupe members and took hefty “passage money” for it.
While his fans will wait to see if Daler Mehndi is actually innocent or not, here are 10 quick facts about the singer:
1. Daler Mehndi was born Aug 18, 1967 at Patna in Bihar.
2. In 1994, he represented India at the annual Voice of Asia International Ethnic and Pop Music Contest at Azia Dynasys in Almaty, Kazakhstan. He came second.
3. Daler Mehndi’s debut album “Bolo Ta Ra Ra” was one of the highest selling albums of 1995. It made a record sale of 20 million copies. He also won Channel V’s Best Indian Male Pop Artist Award for the same.
4. In 1996, he released his second album “Dardi Rab Rab”. It was also a superhit and won Channel V Best Indian Male Artist Award.
5. In 1997, he launched his third album “Balle Balle”. He got nominations in six categories at Channel V Awards for this album.
6. Daler Mehndi even shared screen with superstar Amitabh Bachchan for the popular track “Na Na Na Re”, which he composed and sang for the 1997 film “Mrityudaata”.
7. In 2014, on occasion of Navratri, Daler Mehndi felt so spiritually inclined that he composed and recorded his rendition of ‘Hanuman Chalisa’ overnight at his studio in Delhi.
8. Daler Mehndi has performed in concerts across the US, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, UK, UAE, South Africa, East Africa, Oman, Kuwait, Bahrain, Malaysia, Pakistan, Hong Kong, Singapore, West Indies, Belgium, and the Netherlands.
9. Daler Mehndi has been credited for creating a genre called “Rabbabi” – a combination of Thumri, Sufi and rock.
10. He has also created an instrument called “Swar Mandir” that combines influences from the Rabab, Swarmandal and Tanpura. It was launched on Feb 10, 2012 by sitar maestro Pandit Ravi Shankar.
Sreya is based in Kolkata. She is a Senior Editor of Big Wire.