News Hindi

Babul Supriyo condemns Rahat Fateh Ali Khan singing for Welcome To New York

The singer-turned-union minister demanded the industry take a stance against using Pakistani singers for films till the country stops sponsoring "cross border terrorism" against India. 

Babul Supriyo

Shriram Iyengar

Fawad Khan's short career in Hindi cinema is not the only collateral damage of the collapsing relations between India and Pakistan. Singer turned union minister, Babul Supriyo has now demanded that Rahat Fateh Ali Khan's song in the Karan Johar production, Welcome To New York, be replaced by some other singer's.

Supriyo said that he could not understand why the Hindi film industry continues to support Pakistani artists while relations between the two countries continue to degrade.

In a quote to IANS, a news agency, Supriyo said, "If that's true, I would request the makers of the film to remove Rahat's voice and get someone else to dub it! I am also not sure why Atif Aslam got to sing 'Dil Diya Gallan' [from Tiger Zinda Hai] when for sure our very own Arijit could have done a much better job. The FM stations played the song galore [sic] while news channels announced the name of our soldiers martyred by Pakistan-sponsored terrorists."

Despite demanding a removal or a ban on these artists, Supriyo maintained that he had no personal enemity towards them. "Atif as an artist sounds great in 'Dil Diya Gallan' and Rahat is a great singer too. But it's important to clarify that our problem is not with the artists, Atif or Rahat, but with their Pakistani nationality. It's not a political stand but probably the families who have lost their sons, brothers, fathers would feel a lot better should the entire country show solidarity in any manner possible."

The last time such a demand arose, Karan Johar's Ae Dil Hai Mushkil (2016) faced a lengthy battle before it was released in theatres. The director even had to put out an apology promising not work with any Pakistani artists in the future. It is rumoured that Fawad Khan's role in the film was also cut down to an extent.

Supriyo is a union minister of the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party government, and stuck to his stance on social media as well. While the response was mixed, he defended his statements by pointing out that the cricket tournament, Indian Premier League, has refused to take on Pakistani players over the same issue.

Welcome To New York is directed by Chakri Toleti, and is scheduled to be released on 23 February 2018.