'Remove ATK' issue: Singer Rupam Islam faces backlash from Mohun Bagan fans over new song
- By Chiranjit Ojha
- December 24, 2022
A SONG BY RUPAM ISLAM has become the latest epicenter of Mohun Bagan fans' protests against their club's football investors KGSPL.
Mohun Bagan fans have been organising protests, marches and boycotts for the last two years demanding that KGSPL remove the 'ATK' prefix from the name of the team, which they claim undermines Mohun Bagan's identity and history.
Sanjiv Goenka-led KGSPL, after it came on board as the majority shareholders of Mohun Bagan's football department, claimed that the team was a "merged club" born in 2020; a claim that leaked documents debunked and drew major backlash from the fans. Still, KGSPL pushed the "merger" narrative in various ways; through advertisements (that had to be deleted following fan backlash), using a third kit that resembled an old ATK FC jersey (that had to be abandoned following fan backlash) as well as KGSPL shareholders like Utsav Parekh outright berating the history of Mohun Bagan with inaccurate statements.
Although the old Mohun Bagan management that did the deal was voted out and the new Executive Committee supported the fans' 'Remove ATK' demand, the prefix has still not been removed (despite KGSPL creating the impression that it was going to be done over the summer).
Now, it seems KGSPL are further intensifying their efforts to solidify their branding. This time, they have used popular singer Rupam Islam to push their narrative.
Rupam, who is a sel-proclaimed Mohun Bagan fan, has sung a new song that's being projected by KGSPL as an "anthem" in an effort to sideline the real Mohun Bagan anthem 'Amader Surjo Maroon.'
Every promises made from Debashis Dutta and co is completely not true as Atkmb shooting new anthem for the new season. Nice!!!!!!— Misra (@misra_artistics) December 24, 2022
They are making this mergera long term permanent thing ..
Ashamed that my club proudly merging itself with atk@ChiranjitOjha @MohunBaganFans pic.twitter.com/JCZ8wedCSq
Rupam himself has been vocal about his love for Mohun Bagan. In the past he has collaborated with notable Mohun Bagan ultras groups like Mariners' Base Camp in music projects. Which is why his contribution to KGSPL's attempt to undermine the Mohun Bagan anthem has taken the fans by surprise.
This is not the first time KGSPL have targeted the Mohun Bagan anthem. Previously they have released two songs, sung by popular singers like Usha Utthup, in order to replace 'Amader Surjo Maroon.' The main identifying feature of these songs is that they always refer to the team as 'ATK Mohun Bagan', not 'Mohun Bagan.' None of these songs managed to gain any popularity with the fans.
In another attempt, an RJ from a radio station was used to target the Mohun Bagan anthem. In a promotional segment, he repeated the lyrics of 'Amader Surjo Maroon' but replaced the words 'Mohun Bagan' with 'ATK Mohun Bagan.' The segment drew so much backlash from the fans that the RJ deleted the video.
This latest song, too, has drawn ire from the Mohun Bagan fans; not only because of KGSPL's intentions behind it but also because the Mariners felt betrayed by Rupam Islam's decision to turn on his boyhood club and help a corporate PR campaign that's trying to undermine its identity and history.
This was not expected @rupamislam74 ! When an entire Mohun Bagan fraternity is fighting a long battle with KGSPL against this toxic Merger, one of our very own Mohun Bagan fans doing something to brand this ATKMB merger as a permanent one is very unfortunate !! .. Please don't do https://t.co/c90S7QtkI2— The Mariners' (@MohunBaganFans) December 24, 2022
@rupamislam74 for once we expect celebrities like you place your Mohun Bagani ego above cut-throat professionalism. We reject ATK prefix and unknowingly you are promoting the same. #Mariners demand #RemoveATK #BeaktheMerger #GoenkaOut— RemoveATK (@AtkRemove) December 24, 2022
Arunava Maiti (@arunavamaitibkp) December 24, 2022
I am not surprised by @rupamislam74's actions.#RemoveATK #BeaktheMerger #GoenkaOut pic.twitter.com/Pe00Ts29mh— Sudip Sahoo (@drunk_sahoo) December 24, 2022
I feel sorry that I thought you are #MohunBagan fan! A true #mariners will never use any other clubs name with Mohun Bagan!— Najmus Sayadat (@nsrony) December 24, 2022
I'm ashamed that I was your big fan!
Shame on you! #RemoveATK #JoyMohunBagan
Not expected from an ardent #MohunBagan fan @rupamislam74 !! Don't hurt the emotions of the @MohunBaganFans !! I think ATKMB !!#RemoveATK #AtkmbisnotMohunbagan https://t.co/rz1WfRAaCs— JustMyThoughts (@souravscorner) December 24, 2022
@rupamislam74#RemoveATK #BeaktheMerger #GoenkaOut #OnlyMohunBagan— Sudip Sahoo (@drunk_sahoo) December 24, 2022
Hey @rupamislam74 , I know you are professional but using other clubs name with a institution like #MohunBagan is absolutely shameful! I believed that your ideology is bigger than your professionalism! But I was wrong!— Najmus Sayadat (@nsrony) December 24, 2022
I'm ashamed of being your big fan!
(@mrittik_indian) December 24, 2022
As a diehard Mohun Bagan fan, extremely pained to see such abominable condition of our Motherly club! Shame , shame , shame on the management! #RemoveATK#JoyMohunBagan— Arkodeep Sarkar (@arkodeep_01) December 24, 2022
With the vast majority of the Mohun Bagan fan clubs supporting the 'Remove ATK' movement, KGSPL have gone all out to prevent their voices from being heard. They have tried banning Mohun Bagan flags and banners from the stadium, and tried to intimidate protesting fans using police. Recently, there have even been allegations of violence in the stands against protesting fans.
With Mohun Bagan officials going radio silent on the issue, and celebrity fans like Rupam Islam turning against the fans, it remains to be seen how long this situation of unrest continues at the 133 year old club.
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