Recently, Assam singer Zubeen Garg hit headlines after the Assam State Commission for Women (ASCW) reportedly took suo moto cognisance against the alleged sexually-explicit remarks made by him against actor Nishita Goswami during the Prag Cine Awards in Guwahati.
The awards function was also attended by actor Adil Hussain, Malaika Arora among others.
Amid heavy criticism for his explicit remarks over violating a woman’s dignity and also insulting a member of the LGBTQ community at the same event, several activists have demanded an apology from the singer and the ASCW has asked Assam police to probe into the matter and take necessary actions.
Of course, this is not the first time the Assam superstar has waded into a controversy. Here are five other instances when Garg got himself into trouble:
Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) controversy
In February 2020, a viral photograph of Zubeen Garg, who appeared to be a strong critic of the controversial Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) hugging Assam Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal at the Filmfare Awards in Guwahati hit the headlines.
The singer left social media users to wonder if his stance on the issue of CAA had changed. However, the singer later said there was no change in his stand and greeting the CM did not mean he had deviated from his anti-CAA stand.
Brahmins should be killed
In July 2019, Zubeen Garg said, he is a Brahmin but has snapped his ‘lagun’ (a sacred thread worn by Brahmins) for a movie. He added that he had removed the thread earlier, and still does not wear it. These Brahmins should be killed, at an event held at the Guwahati Medical College Hospital (GMCH) auditorium. Following his statement against the Brahmin community, several cases had been filed in various police stations across Assam by several Brahmin groups demanding apology and punishment from the singer.
Insulting Bharat Ratna
In January 2019, the Assam Police had registered a case against Zubeen Garg for abusing the Bharat Ratna that was announced for Bhupen Hazarika by the Central Government on the occasion of Republic Day. An FIR was lodged in Lanka in Hojai district, Assam, after an audio clip went viral on WhatsApp where the singer reportedly used unparliamentarily language and defamed India’s highest civilian honour, Bharat Ratna. In the audio clip, Garg was heard singing his song Politics Na Karibo Bandhu (Don’t Do Politics, My Friend), before allegedly using an abusive term for the Bharat Ratna.
Slapping a minor
In 2017, Zubeen Garg was slapped with a fine of Rs 5,000 and even sentenced to rigorous imprisonment in an assault case. The court held him guilty for slapping a minor boy.
In 2013, Garg had allegedly slapped a minor fan of him for showing disrespect. Arup Borbora, an advocate of Guwahati High Court, had filed an FIR against Zubeen Garg at Geetanagar Police Station in Guwahati, alleging that the singer slapped his minor son, who was a fan of Zubeen Garg. According to Borbora, the minor tried meeting Zubeen Garg and instead was physically assaulted by the singer’s security guards.
However, Garg said he was irritated that the boy was smoking in front of him despite being a minor and that the boy did not listen to him.
Disrespecting the National Flag
In 2015, an FIR was filed against Zubeen Garg for allegedly showing disrespect to the National Flag on Independence Day. Police had registered the FIR under case number 502/15 containing defamatory matter. According to reports, Garg had uploaded a picture on his Facebook account, in which he was seen flaunting the tricolour at his house on Independence Day wearing half pants and instead of humming the National Anthem, was humming a song inappropriate for the occasion.
This created a huge controversy during Independence Day and was seen as disrespecting the National Flag.