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Why Babul Supriyo wants Rahat song banned: Our soldiers being martyred, Bollywood needs to take a stand

MP Babul Supriyo has said he isn’t against any Pakistani artiste but at a time when relations between the neighbours is at an all-time low, Bollywood needed to take a stand too.

bollywood Updated: Feb 22, 2018 10:32 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times, New Delhi
Vashu Bhagnani,Welcome To New York,Rahat Fateh Ali Khan
Babul Supriyo wanted Rahat Fateh Ali Khan song in Welcome To New York dubbed by someone else.

Producer Vashu Bhagnani, whose film Welcome To New York has been caught in a controversy over a song sung by Pakistani artist Rahat Fateh Ali Khan, has said that he won’t work with Pakistani singers for the moment. Soon after the release of the song titled Ishtehaar, BJP MP and Bollywood singer Babul Supriyo had commented that he didn’t see the need to patronise Pakistani singers at a time when relations between the two neighbours was at an all-time low. Rahat had earlier tweeted his response to the controversy, “In midst of so much being said all I can say is music has no boundaries and thank everyone for showing so much love for the songs which I am a part of......”

Speaking to the media in New Delhi where Babul Supriyo, music director Shamir Tandon and CEO of Indian Films and Television Producers Council (IFTPC) Suresh Amin were also present, Vashu Bhagnani said, “I have always respected the soldiers. My intention was never to hurt any sentiments but after having spoken to Babulji I promise that we won’t work with Pakistani artists until the relationship between the two countries improve.”

Rahat Fateh Ali Khan has lent his voice for a song in Welcome To New York.

Also present at the media interaction was Supriyo. He said, “I am not against any Pakistani artist. Rahat Fateh Ali Khan Sahab is a very accomplished artist. But we believe that currently, given the kind of animosity between India and Pakistan with our soldiers being martyred, it is not appropriate for us to work with Pakistani artists and that is why I asked for the song to be banned.”

Supriyo had earlier said Rahat Fateh Ali Khan’s voice in the song must be removed and dubbed by someone else as he was not able to comprehend the need or desire to cross the border for entertainment content at a time when tensions on the India-Pakistan border had escalated.

Asked why the issue was not raised when singer Atif Aslam crooned a number for Tiger Zinda Hai, Supriyo said: “Dil Diyan Gallan is nice song. There is another nice song sung by Atif in Bajrangi Bhaijaan... My morals as an artist or sensibilities, I agree that artistes have no boundary. I definitely want to believe that and I do as an artiste but having said that where our soldiers are being brutally killed and their bodies are mutilated... If we can stop Pakistani players playing in IPL.... At a time when we have cornered Pakistan, even US is one step away from declaring Pakistan a terrorist nation... maybe it would have been nice if Bollywood showed solidarity and took a stand.”

Noting that the entire issue of banning Pakistani artists began with filmmaker Karan Johar’s 2016 film Ae Dil Hai Mushkil, he said: “(At that time) I had said that if a film worth Rs 100 crore is made and a lot of money has been put in by our producers that time, an Indian producer will suffer and not the Pakistani actor.”

Supriyo said that he spoke as an Indian first and that a stand needs to be made on temporarily banning Pakistani artistes in Bollywood.

Ishtehaar from the film Welcome To New York which has been sung by singer Rahat Fateh Ali Khan and Dhvani Bhanushali and composed by Shamir Tandon with lyrics penned by Charanjeet Charan.

Directed by Chakri Toleti and produced by Pooja Films and Wiz Films (with music by Pooja Music), Welcome To New York releases worldwide on February 23, 2018.

(With inputs from IANS)

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First Published: Feb 22, 2018 10:32 IST