He has delivered innumerable hit songs for Bollywood films, but after his controversial detention at the Delhi airport last year, Pakistani singer Rahat Fateh Ali Khan hasn’t visited India.But that hasn’t stopped Hindi filmmakers from having him sing for their films. In fact, for the Kareena Kapoor-starrer Heroine, the filmmakers have gone, or should we say, flown, the extra mile to record with the Sufi singer.
A few days ago, music director Salim Merchant recorded a track called Saaiyan for the Madhur Bhandarkar film. Later, the composer duo (Salim-Sulaiman) felt that Rahat would be a better fit for the song. So they decided to re-record the song with him. However, there was a roadblock: “Visas for Pakistani artistes take time to come through. Plus, Rahat was apparently hesitant about coming back to India (following the detention). So Salim-Sulaiman sent a team to Dubai, where they recorded the song with Rahat,” says an insider. Now, Salim’s version has been replaced in the film. “There are no hard feelings between Salim and Madhur over this. The composers have a fantastic equation with the director. Besides, the song will only add to the quality of the soundtrack,” adds the insider. When contacted, Salim confirms, “The director and producers wanted Rahatji to sing the track. It’s true that my team went to Dubai to record the song with Rahatji.”
What happened at Delhi airportIn February 2011, when Rahat Fateh Ali Khan was on his way back to Pakistan after attending concerts and award functions in India, he was detained at Delhi’s Indira Gandhi International Airport. Allegedly, the authorities seized more than $1,40,000 from him. The singer was released after intervention by officials from both the Pakistani and Indian governments.