The letter was sent to The Times of India. Here’s what Sonu had to say about the man who threatened him
Underworld don Chhota Shakeel allegedly threatened Bollywood singer Sonu Nigam through his aide. Sonu tweeted that he did not complain to the police, but that they found out through their intelligence.
Thnks family. 4 d concern. Relax, God willing thr shll b peace. On anthr note, I ddn’t go 2 d police, they got 2 know thru their intellgence
— Sonu Nigam (@sonuniigaam) October 3, 2013
The singer chose to respond to Shakeel’s threat through a letter to daily The Times of India. We reproduce the letter below.
“The first time Chhota Shakeel threatened me through his man, was in 2000. I was merely 26 at that time, didn’t know how to cough up the money that was being asked. Eventually at his behest, I made him speak to a family friend whom he’d address as Didi or sister, and ended up assuring me that I shall never receive a call from them. I was relieved.
His messaging me again last month after so many years, was not as ugly as it has become post the news leak yesterday. I was trying to keep it under the wraps all this while because I know all this amounts up to unnecessary publicity, especially when he was threatening me in a civil way, uptil now! But I guess it is not in my hands to keep the press from procuring information, in fact I had told him last month too, that one cannot underestimate Indian Police and Indian press these days, and that I don’t want to get into this mess!
So much has changed in me from his last call to this call. Back then, I didn’t have much money. Today, I don’t work for money. People who belong to my category, cannot be understood so easily. Shakeel could very well ask me that if you do not work for money, why wouldn’t you work with the person whom I want you to work with, and give me the discount I’m asking for? Fair enough question to ask!
The answer is when you reach a point when you are walking up the stage, and you have this feeling that you are going on a cosmic pilgrimage, and you have gratitude for the parents, dead or alive, of all the people gathered to listen to you, to bless you, to make you feel the chosen one, how can you work or perform under a threat?
Perhaps Shakeel doesn’t know singing to me, is like namaaz would be for him. Am sure if he knew that, if he knew me as a person, he would just leave me alone. But how can I blame him for not knowing me, when my wife still hasn’t figured me out, and vice versa!
So much has happened this year, I have lost some major relationships to death or to other factors. My grand father, my beautiful mother, my father’s best friend, and then some friends’ tragedies like Sajid Wajid’s father, Salim Suleiman’s mom, Toshi Sharib’s father, my friend and young colleague Ajay Jhingran, my friend Chintan’s dad, and many more. This year has made me surrender to the temporality of life. Also made me death friendly as there are so many loved ones on the other side already.
I’m sure Shakeel wouldn’t despise me, or think of me as his enemy, because I’ve done no wrong to him. I’m sure at least one of the thousands of songs I’ve sung, would be in his favorite list. He’s elder to me and I’m sure by now he wouldn’t wanna indulge in petty things like “Sonu Nigam Has to work with Bharat Jotwani, his front man, from New Jersey!” I am sure he knows the love of a mother and sister, but wish he knew for someone like me, more than death threats, it’s too saddening to have my mother and sister abused by somebody else!
So does that give me reasons to feel hatred for him, or feel superior? No! I have no right to judge anyone. Not even the one threatening me. My loved ones fearing for my life, concerned journalists or cops calling me up frantically, should not make me feel victimized or aggrieved. The cosmos works on the principle of cause and effect. There is a reason this is happening. And even if I don’t get it now, I’ll get it eventually.
Till then I’ll pray for Shakeel and his family, everyone has a sweet family who prays for his wellbeing as much as my father prays for mine today, and hope that one day, he can love me and see that I’m a free soul as a musician. I can’t be tied to a condition and then made to work. The only way to work with people like us, is giving us the freedom and space to grow and evolve, for only then shall we be able to give you all, an experience that will reflect the bliss that we ourselves experienced, while creating it. Love and Prayers.”