Pakistani singer Atif Aslam has refused to promote his song Sehami hai dhadkan in Sudhir Mishra’s Daas Dev, leaving the young music director Vipin Patwa confused, anxious and somewhat angry.
Says Vipin, “I am relatively new to Hindi cinema , just a small-town boy taking baby steps in showbiz.And I can ill-afford these controversies at such an early stage of my career.This is my second song by a Pakistani singer to have gotten in the crossfire.Earlier in the film Laali Ke Shaadi Mein Laddoo Deewana, Rahet Fateh Ali Khan Saab had a sung a song for me. That too had got into a crisis. Now the Atif number in Daas Dev.”
Vipin says Aatif Aslam has dissociated himself from his own song. “Atif was fine while recording it. But when singer-politicianBaabul Supriyo made the comments that Pakistani artistes should stay away from Bollywood Atif simply cut himself off.”
Vipin did have a talk with Atif. “But he was tight-lipped. He wouldn’t tell me why he decided to stay away from promoting his song. I feel his hands are tied. Rather his voice is gagged. Baabul’s statement made the situation worse.”
Vipin feels music and the arts should be freed from politics. “I feel music has no borders. In the past we’ve always welcomedRahat Fateh ali Khan , Atif Aslam and many other singers from Pakistan.Abb kya ho gaya? You say there is escalated tension at the border. But when I recorded Sehmi hai dhadkan with Atif things were not so bad between the two countries. Now of course everybody is trying to prove his nationalism by clamouring to ban Pakistani artistes.”
Vipin won’t be cowed down. “If in the future I feel a Pakistani voice suits my song I will use it. Though the singer cannot come to India his song can be heard anywhere anytime. There are so many listeners on youtube wanting to know why Atif has refused to promote the songs. I think Baabul’s statements shook Atif.”
Baabu Supriyo feels this tantrum from across the border is a warning to Indian composers. “If this is how he’s behaving with filmmakers in India who have braved the national backlash to invite Pakistani artistes to then we have a strong case for alifetimeban on Atif. I suggest that Sudhir Mishra and the music composer get the song dubbed by any singer from those umpteenth musical reality shows on television. If the composition is good the song will be a hit.”