Desh ke liye gao: Indian Link Radio’s Independence Day contest

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Sydney’s Chiranjib Bakchi has won Indian Link Radio’s #DeshKeLiyeGao contest.

12-year-old Arushi Badle was declared first runner-up, and Rekha Kanth, second runner-up.

Chiranjib won the judges over with his soulful rendition of Mayii teri chunariya lehraai from the film ABCD 2.

Winners were announced on 14 August by popular presenter RJ Sagar Mehrotra on his daytime show Sunday Swag.

“I dedicate this song to all my Indian friends in Australia and across the world,” Chiranjib said just before his performance. “We are all missing our homeland at this time of the year.”

A particularly touching song, the Arijit Singh number speaks of the love and comfort that can be sought in mother figures, and in this instance was a wonderful metaphor for Mother India.

Ekta Sharma, Indian Link Radio’s Station Manager and architect of the contest, said of the song choice, “It was not the easiest song to sing, but Chiranjib performed it with such ease it was truly commendable“.

“This will definitely be a highpoint of the year for me,” a delighted Chiranjib said after winning.  “Thank you Indian Link Radio for this opportunity.”

An IT professional and a recent arrival from India, Chiranjib was happy to discover Indian Link Radio, which he said reminds him of India’s FM radio stations.

“Music has been an integral part of my life,” the West Bengal lad revealed. “I’ve experienced its healing qualities before, and now find it is very useful in dealing with my own three-year-old, who is autistic. My wife, a harmonium player, is a great source of encouragement.”

And yes, Arijit Singh is his favourite singer.

He took home a $100 gift voucher.

The contest sought out listeners who were keen to sing a patriotic desh bhakti song in the lead up to the 75th anniversary of India’s Independence. Perfectly timed (2 – 12 Aug), the contest rode on the waves of patriotism that touched Indian-origin people the world over.

“Contestants rang in to sing on our live shows, or sent us recordings of their song via social media,” Ekta described. “Although we did not ask for accompaniments or karaoke, we were pleasantly surprised to note the trouble contestants took over their submissions! I thank them all sincerely.”

Twenty five entries were received from across the nation, and seven made it the judges‘ shortlist.

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First runner-up Aarushi Badle became quite the star for her sensational singing, given her young age. She sang a medley of patriotic songs, cleverly lined up.

Equally, she impressed with her mature mannerism as she spoke live on air after being declared successful.

It is clear Arushi has a career in singing if she wishes to pursue it. As a student of IABBV Hindi School, she has already had occasion to showcase her talent, especially at Independence Day events this year.

Arushi received a $50 gift voucher.

Second runner-up Rekha Sashikanth chose the beautiful Vande Mataram as her song, in a beautiful tribute to the homeland. Her classical bent came to the fore delightfully.

Rekha won a $25 gift voucher.

The deshbhakti spirit continued on Indian Link Radio even after the contest ended. Many listeners rang in on the next day – 15 Aug – to sing live on Ekta’s own show Good Morning Australia.

For Ekta Sharma, this contest marks the latest success in a series of radio contests that have involved the Indian Link Radio community.

‘Our contests are a great way for us to unearth the talent that exists among our followers, ‘ she said.  “It’s such a pleasure to give them a platform to express themselves. Of course this time round, it was a wonderful way to also showcase our common deshbhakti!“

Look out for more from Ekta and her team at Indian Link Radio in coming days.


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Rajni Anand Luthra
Rajni Anand Luthra
Rajni is the Editor of Indian Link.

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