Singer Papon has been facing condemnation for forcing upon a female child during a Facebook Live. A Delhi-based lawyer has even filed a case against the 41-year-old singer, who’s a judge on &TV’s popular reality show, Voice India Kids.
Papon was caught smearing Holi colours on and grabbing the 11-year-old female contestant from the reality show to plant a kiss on her lips. The singer’s lawyer has denied any inappropriate act by Papon, while the girl’s parents too have sided with him calling it a display of affection by a guru towards his shishya (pupil).
However, this hasn’t prevented social media users from condemning Papon with many even asking him to be booked under POCSO Act. Many took to Twitter to remind what filmmaker Shoojit Sircar had suggested last year. Sircar had demanded a ban on any reality shows involving children since it destroyed them ’emotionally & their purity.’
Sircar’s words proved prophetic as people continued to express their disgust on the viral video questioning what right did the singer have to attack the modesty of the 11-year-old contestant. Meanwhile, the National Commission for Protection of Child Rights have said it does prima facie appears to be a violation of the POCSO Act.
Faced with condemnation, Papon took to Facebook to issue a statement. He wrote, “I am very painfully conscious of the accusations that have been made against me in the last few days. Anyone who knows me would be aware that I am an extremely affectionate and expressive person. That is the way I have been brought up and that’s how I have always been with people close to me or people I care about. To show affection for an 11 year old child who I have been mentoring for a while now is not an alien concept for me. Please do remember that it a video on my own facebook live and stop for a moment and at least wonder why I would myself promote a video where I am ‘apparently’ doing all the unmentionable things that I am being accused of.
My humble request to everyone, when you do come across this matter is to just pause and think about how much harm this does to the people involved. I have a loving wife of over 14 years and two young children. There is a little girl involved, whose identity is not masked in any way. Both of our families are being destroyed forever, just by people jumping to conclusions.
However, this is not to say that I haven’t made a mistake. I might have done it spontaneously but in today’s environment, to touch a girl child, however innocent your thoughts are, is not advisable. I am sorry for that. Please do accuse me of being naïve and stupid even but please do not call me all those disgusting names.
Please note that the girl in question and her family have gone on record and stated that what is being depicted is not what actually transpired and it is in fact just a case of faulty camera angles and an accidental move and not a sexual assault as being reported. The said incident transpired in the presence of personnel from the reality show and there is nothing objectionable about it. I admit that I am an extremely affable person and am very convivial with my fan community but please bear in mind that I have been happily married for over 14 years with two children and I would do nothing to cause harm to them. I hold the girl in high regards not only as a lady but also as a contestant on the reality show I am part of. If I had anything to be culpable of, the said video would have been deleted from my social media. As an accountable civilian, the safety and respect of women are of grave importance to me and I would never commit an act that is inappropriate or discourteous in any form. Please know that my intentions with everything that I do in my life are always pure and honest and I would never commit an indecent act as it is being portrayed. I urge the members of the press and my fans to please consider both sides of the story before maligning my public repertoire and damaging the reputation of this girl. My family stands by me in this tough time where I feel I am victimized for no fault of mine.