The folk musician is all set to receive Padma Shri – the fourth-highest civilian award – and he still thanks India’s ‘Bad Boy Badshah’ for making his song a national phenomenon.
Four years on, Indian rapper Badshah’s Genda Phool still rules the party playlist across the country. It is this song that brought an elderly musician from rural Bengal – Ratan Kahar – to the national limelight. As Jacqueline Fernandez dances to the tune of Boroloker Biti Lo, septuagenarian Kahar reclaimed the song as his own after fighting a silent battle over the ownership of the song. After years, the folk musician is all set to receive Padma Shri – the fourth-highest civilian award – and he still thanks India’s ‘Bad Boy Badshah’ for making his song a national phenomenon.
In a chat with OTTplay after the announcement of the award, an elated Ratan Kahar said, “I am well and happy today. Very happy.” When Badshah’s Genda Phool was dropped in 2020, there was an uproar that the rapper did not give credit to the Bengali folk song’s original writer. However, Badshah did not take the time to correct himself. “He got in touch and over a video call, he talked to me. I did not say a thing but he transferred Rs 5 lakh to my account. Badshah is a good man,” he said.
Ratan attributes his national popularity to the rapper. “Initially, Badshah did not know me. But when he knew he communicated. It is because of him, my song got a national platform. I lost his contact number. However, I would love to meet him again and thank him,” said Kahar. Later, Bickram Ghosh also made a music video featuring the artiste.
However, this is not the first time Ratan Kahar was denied credit. “I have created many many songs. I created Boroloker Biti Lo in 1972. I used to be an artiste in All India Radio. Swapna Chakraborty recorded the song and I was not given any credit. I did not say anything. They came and said they could not find me hence, did not give me credit. After years, when I get such a big recognition I feel my work has been recognised,” he said.