Adnan Sami still ‘bullied’ by Pakistani social media users for making India his home
Former Pakistani singer Adnan Sami, who became an Indian citizen in December 2015, jokes that ‘hell hath no fury like a nation scorned’, and adds that Pakistan’s Twitterati even tell him to ‘become a swami’.music Updated: Jun 18, 2017 08:01 IST
Adnan Sami has not stopped taking the heat from Pakistani Twitterati ever since he became an Indian citizen in December 2015. The 43-year-old singer was born to Pakistani parents in England and schooled there, and it has been years since he moved to India to take his singing career forward, but Pakistan social media users still have a grudge against his new passport.
Speaking to us over the phone from Germany, Adnan reveals that he is still “bullied” by the social media users from Pakistan. “There’s a famous saying, ‘Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned’. I want to change it to ‘Hell hath no fury like a nation scorned,’” he says laughing at the outset of our conversation.
“I get sarcastic comments from them saying that ‘if you have become an Indian, then change your religion, and become a swami or something like that’. If we go by their logic, then all Pakistanis who live in America should become Christians. Or those who live in England should become Protestants (followers of a Christian movement against the Roman Catholic Church),” says Adnan. “Who are they to tell me that I should change my religion? The biggest irony here is that there are more Muslims in India than in Pakistan. Pakistan is not the torch-bearer of Islam, and if I change my country, it doesn’t mean that I have to change my religion.”
Taking Indian citizenship is his choice and no one “has the right to criticise” him for that, states the singer. “I can understand,” he adds, “when people say that they’re not a big fan of my music. That’s an individual opinion, and I respect that. But you don’t have the right to comment on my choice of citizenship, my skin colour, or my religion. It’s not open to discussion.”
Through the course of the interview, Adnan admits that every time he expresses his support for India on any issue, he gets “browbeaten and abused by the natives from the neighbouring country”. This is a reference to the Snapchat incident: the singer was trolled by Pakistani users for his tweet against the Snapchat CEO, who had allegedly said that India was too poor for him to consider it a market.
Adnan says, “A friend of mine told me that Pakistani users didn’t have a problem that my tweet was against the Snapchat CEO. They were bothered by the fact that I had included myself in that 1.2 billion people (of India). It bothers them that I decided to become an Indian citizen.”
The singer says that he has made peace with the hatred directed at him, but that he will continue to answer the online trolls. “The rhetoric they use against me is propaganda that I have known all about ever since I was a child. I have grown up in the powers of corridor. So I know what’s happening. I am not only showing them the mirror, but I am holding it up from behind and showing it to them,” he says.
On the personal front, Adnan and his wife Roya had a baby girl, Medina on May 12, and this experience opened up a new aspect of life for him — he tells us that he never understood the meaning of a father-daughter relationship until his own daughter was born. “People used to keep talking about the wonderful relationship between a father and his daughter. I was like, ‘what’s the big deal?’ But the moment she was born, I knew what they meant,” says the smitten new dad. “It has been only a few days since she was born, and ever since then, even if I go away from her for a minute, I start missing her.”
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