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boAt & BookMyShow Caught In A Storm Over Rapper Shubh’s ‘Now-Cancelled’ India Tour

The India tour of Canada-based rapper Shubhneet Singh, well known as Shubh, created an uproar over his past social media posts which showed a distorted map of India

Following the controversy, D2C audio products brand boAt pulled out of the sponsorship of the concert, saying it is “first & foremost a true Indian brand”

Meanwhile, users on social media platform X called for a boycott of BookMyShow for selling the tickets of the now-cancelled tour

Homegrown startups boAt and BookMyShow were caught in the crossfire amid the uproar over the India tour of Canada-based rapper Shubhneet Singh, well known as Shubh.

The India tour, the tickets for which were available for booking on BookMyShow, was cancelled by organiser, Team Innovation, after facing backlash from netizens over some of the past social media posts of the rapper which showed a distorted map of India.

This also led to users on social media platform X calling for a boycott of the ticket-booking platform.

Following the cancellation of the tour, BookMyShow on Wednesday (September 20) said it has initiated a refund of the tickets purchased for the concert. 

Sources close to the company told Inc42 that BookMyShow began the refund process after Team Innovation conveyed to the platform that the tour was cancelled. 

Shubh was scheduled to commence his three-month tour to India from September 23 and was expected to perform in 12 cities including Mumbai, Bengaluru, Delhi, Hyderabad, Kolkata, among others.

“Singer Shubhneet Singh’s Still Rollin Tour for India stands cancelled. To that end, BookMyShow has initiated a complete refund of the ticket amount for all consumers who had purchased tickets for the show. The refund will be reflected within 7-10 working days in the customer’s source account of the original transaction,” said BookMyShow in a tweet. 

The development came a day after D2C audio products brand also boAt pulled out of the sponsorship of the concert over the previous social media posts of the singer. 

The matter pertains to March this year when Singh posted two stories on Instagram which showed a map of India, omitting Jammu & Kashmir and some other states. 

Ahead of the singer’s arrival in India, a huge uproar erupted online over his posts and, afterwards, protests also took place in Mumbai. 

boAt, in a statement, said it withdrew the sponsorship of the tour when it became aware of comments made by Singh earlier this year. 

“At boAt, while our commitment to the incredible music community runs deep, we are first & foremost a true Indian brand. Therefore, when we became aware of the remarks made by artist Shubh earlier this year, we chose to withdraw our sponsorship from the tour,” the D2C electronics brand said. 

Meanwhile, short video platform Moj has also joined the bandwagon and taken down songs composed by the rapper from its in-app music library. 

“Moj is a proud Indian brand deeply committed to fostering a vibrant creator community. In alignment with our values, any artist propagating divisive content has no home on our platform.  With this in mind, we have taken down songs by the artist Shubh from our in-app music library,” said Moj in a statement.

This is not the first time that Indian new-age tech startups have been mired in such controversies. Last month, edtech platform Unacademy fired a tutor after a video went viral online of the teacher asking students to vote for a leader who is ‘well-educated and understands things’.

Prior to that, Zomato attracted the ire of the National Commission of Scheduled Castes for its controversial ‘Kachra’ ad, which the foodtech major later took down.

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