[Assam] Will Meghalaya back its Brand Ambassador to the hilt ? By Patricia Mukhim

Pradip Kumar Datta pradip200 at yahoo.com
Mon Sep 17 21:51:33 PDT 2007

Will Meghalaya back its Brand Ambassador to the hilt ?
  By Patricia Mukhim
  SHILLONG: As the date for the grand finale of the Indian Idol reality show draws nearer, rumours, are afloat about our own favourite singer, Amit Paul trailing by several lakh votes. Sony Television's sudden announcement that voting will continue 24x7 for nine days from Friday 14 September, 9 pm up to 6 pm of Sunday the 23rd, has made several donors and sponsors of PCOs to develop cold feet. At their review meeting today, the Shillong Arts and Music Lovers Forum (SAMLF) took stock of the situation arising out of this sudden change of heart in those who had earlier been Amit aficionados.
  Headlines Today, a premier news channel reported on Sunday that people in Sikkim have stopped counting the cost. They are going all out to ensure Prashant Tamang become Indian Idol. Yes they are putting their money where their mouths are, some at great cost, to vote for their local hero. Other sources maintain that in North Bengal and Sikkim the voting fervour for Tamang has augmented considerably. The question now is whether Meghalaya can keep up the tempo to back its own hero and brand ambassador to the very last? Having brought Amit thus far it would be cruel if people are to let him down at this most crucial juncture.
  Interestingly, in Jaintia Hills the story is a bit different. Voting for Amit Paul is on the upswing. Melian Ryngkhlem, President of the Saralin Sports, Social and Cultural Club which has spearheaded the Amit campaign reported that all PCOs in Jowai, Khliehriat and Lad Rymbai are taken up by the Club. Ryngkhlem says, most of these PCOs, are sponsored by local MDC, Thomas Nongtdu. The Club has been working round the clock to ensure a steady non-stop voting for the singer.
  An ardent Amit fan, Ms J Nongdhar says this is the time people should stand together and show their magnanimity'. 'Considering that Meghalaya has so many big corporate houses doing brisk business here with offices in Kolkata and Delhi and also enjoying huge subsidies, the least they can do is rise to the occasion', Nongdhar added. In a largely attended meeting of the SAMLF today, the Forum made a fervent appeal to the people of Shillong to send at least one hundred votes each for Amit. At the meeting several young entrepreneurs volunteered to sponsor PCOs and distribute free SIM cards.
  In the Indian Idol II, the winner got a total vote of 1.6 crores. If Amit is to win the title Meghalaya would have to work really hard because he would need at least a tally of two crore votes. Attendants at the meeting felt that there are enough people in Meghalaya who would stand up and be counted if they were approached in the right spirit. The point is how to mobilize them to come forward. Meanwhile, Kunal Mordani, Secretary of the Forum informed that all donations made to SAMLF would be accounted for and audited. A bank account for the purpose has been opened. Donors and Sponsors can contact Mordani at Bombay Bytes, Khyndailad.
  Just how much affection and respect Amit Paul has been able to kindle in the hearts of Meghalayans and whether we really back him as our brand ambassador will be visible in the next few days as the voting hots up. Amit has the talent and the personality of an all-rounder. His rendition of the Punjabi hit, 'Bulla ki jaana main kaun' on Saturday last was out of this world. Amit has left no stone unturned to put Shillong and Meghalaya in the national consciousness. No amount spent on advertising would have got the State so much publicity. Today the general opinion is that the Chief Minister of Meghalaya should emulate his counterpart in Sikkim and back Amit Paul all the way. 'Just making him a brand ambassador of peace, communal harmony and excellence is not good enough. He has to win the Indian Idol title to do justice to the title conferred on him. He needs the votes. So will the Chief Minister please stand up and be counted?' appealed a member of the Forum. Source:
 Shillongtimes Source: http://www.amitpaul.org 
  Indian Idol: Amit Paul ruling the roost
  Monday, September 17, 2007: (Shillong) :
  Gayatri Azam Siddiqui NDTV
  Mass hysteria is visibly rampant in the otherwise sleepy town of Shillong. 

People are out on the streets, rallying for local boy Amit Paul, who has made it to the final of Indian Idol, a singing contest on television.


Amit faces stiff competition from the other finalist, Prashant Tamang.

At Amit's house, friends and relatives are constantly busy with their phones, making calls and casting their vote,to make sure that Amit wins the final on September 23.

While streets are crowded, posters of Amit can be seen at each nook and corner of the town. The finalist says he's humbled.

"Earlier I found it difficult to walk on the crowded streets, now I see people finding it difficult because of me," exclaims Amit Paul.

For a town that occasionally makes news only because of communal clashes, this is something unprecedented. And people have come together to make this Shillong boy the new Indian Idol.

The Chief Minister too is full of praise for Amit.

"Amit Paul looks like a magic prescription which cures the ailments where we have bitterness, bad feelings. This can be wiped out so that we can unitedly stand as one nation," said D D Lapang, Chief Minister, Meghalaya.

The atmosphere here is absolutely charged. For weeks now this town has become a frenzied follower of an Indian Idol finalist, a local boy who seems to have even eased a three decade long communal divide, turning Shillong otherwise synonymous with western music into a bollywood music fan. 
  More News / Articles on Amit here
  Source: http://www.amitpaul.org 

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