In an exclusive chat with OTTplay, the actress recounted her ordeal.
Television actress and singer Rooqma Ray faced harassment when she went to perform at a show in Khanakul, Hooghly on Friday night. She was asked to leave after an altercation with the organisers. In an exclusive chat with OTTplay, the actress recounted her ordeal.
Rooqma went to perform at an event to celebrate a local Kali Puja. “I reached on time and had to take a long walk to reach the venue. One person came and asked to get on his bike. My team and I declined the offer as he was an unknown person to us. I walked. After I took the stage and started the performance, the organisers greeted me with a bouquet. They took photos. Everything was going well. I continued with my performance when another group came and asked for a selfie. I obliged. It was a group selfie. Suddenly this man came and said, ‘You were paid to sing. So, sing. It’s not about your advertisement.’ I was shocked to hear his audacity. I left the stage and waited at the backstage for his apology,” recounted Rooqma ruefully.
She was under the impression that other organisers would come with an apology. But things went downhill from there. “That man, Raju Samanta, came and with the same arrogance he said, ‘Your first mistake was that you refused to take the bike ride’. I was shocked. He was drunk and there was not an iota of apology in his tone. I told him that he failed to offer respect to an artist and I left. Later, I was told he was the man who footed the bill for the Kali Puja. He may have money but he cannot take an artiste’s respect for granted. Apart from him, everyone was civilised at the event. There were guards and the audience was waiting for my performance eagerly. It is because of him I had to leave,” she said.
Rooqma is a seasoned singer and is used to performing in different corners of Bengal. “We all are used to bad roads and rural areas. We love to travel to perform. But no one can humiliate a performer because they are paid artistes. I have never experienced anything like this,” she said.