Rangabati Returns In A New Avtaar But This Time Without Controversy

Popular Sambalpuri folk song Rangabati makes a comeback in yet another version, in the voice of a young Mumbai based Odia girl Pragya Patra, unlike its last MTV Coke Studio remix version which ran into legal trouble last year.

A new folk cover of Rangabati was released on the eve of this Independence Day on YouTube by Punyaa Production. Young Odia singing sensation Pragya Patra has given voice in this music video mixed and mastered by Anil CJ. 

The short music video completely shot in Odisha also highlights the popular tourist destinations, food and culture of the state. Pragya Patra is one of the founder members of the Punyaa Production.

(Photo: Pragya Patra/FB Page)
The original Rangabati song enjoys a cult status among the Odia music lovers over the last four decades ever since it was first composed in the mid-1970s for the Sambalpur centre of the All India Radio. The original song was written by lyricist Mitrabhanu Gauntia and composed by Prabhudatta Pradhan. Jitendra Haripal and Krishna Patel had given voice for this composition. Following its huge popularity a Kolkata based company Indreco released its first recorded version in 1978.

This was the first Indian folk song to be aired by BBC and Voice of America in the 1980s is the proof of the immense popularity of this song composed in the folk style of western Odisha.

Controversy with Coke Studio Remix Version

Well known music composer Ram Sampat released a remix version of the song in July 2015 in the voice of Sona Mohapatra and India’s Raw Star fame Rituraj Mohanty for the MTV Coke Studio programme. Though the remix version received over a million views on YouTube it ended up in a legal battle.

In the remix version Sona voiced the folk part of the song while Rituraj Mohanty blended it with ‘Bande Utkal Janai’, the state anthem. This led to a huge controversy with a police complaint filed against Sona Mohapatra and Rituraj for hurting the sentiment of the Odias.

The controversy escalated to serving of a legal notice to Ram Sampat and MTV for a copyright infringement and a week long debate over the taste of the remix version on social media and television studios. 
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