When the third edition of
Indian Idol 3 ended last year with Prashant Tamang beating his rival Amit Paul,
the victory was due to the
overwhelming votes that the Darjeeling boy received.
Contributing generously to the votes were Tamangâ€™s fans from Nepal who
collected funds to send SMSes in his support, at times crossing over into India
to vote for their favourite.
Though at least two of the judges
â€“ Alisha Chinoy and Javed Akhtar â€“ felt Paul was the better singer,
they both had to agree that the final decision was left to the voice of the
This year, as Indian Idol 4 is in full swing, is the public
voice from Nepal out to swamp the Indian voice?
For the first time in
the history of the contest, a mobile telephone company from Nepal has tied up
with a publishing company to enable people from Nepal to vote directly from
â€œWhen Prashant Tamang became the Indian Idol last year
... the people of Nepal had a big hand in Prashantâ€™s win,â€ announced
the local Himalayan Times daily Friday whose publishers International Media
Network Nepal Private Ltd has started a scheme with Mero Mobile, Nepalâ€™s
sole private mobile phone services provider that was promoted three years ago by
deposed king Gyanendraâ€™s son-in-law, to enable direct SMS voting from
â€œThis year, Nepali fans of Indian Idol need not go to
all this trouble to vote for the next Indian Idol,â€ the announcement said,
referring to the border-crossings. Instead, those wanting to vote can use a Mero
Mobile number from Nepal 12 hours daily from Friday to Saturday.
year, the enterprising pair had conducted a trial run, which consisted of asking
people to predict the winner and win prizes. The direct vote offer comes
following the fan frenzy created by Prashant. This year too, there is a
contender of Nepali origin among the 14 finalists â€“ Kapil Thapa, the army
man from Dehra Dun, and the obvious strategy is to bank on the fan following he
might arouse in Nepal.
The question is, can or should the Indian Idol
be decided by Nepal? Would America accept the results if Nepalis managed to vote
from Nepal or raised funds to abet a Nepali-origin contestantâ€™s victory in
American Idols? For that matter, would Nepalis accept it peaceably if Indians
vote during the Nepali editions of the Idol in Nepal and push the winner they
SMS voting is a bad yardstick due to its sheer anonymity.
Perhaps it is time the organisers of Indian Idol give it some thought and lay