Union Minister Babul Supriyo says over 90 per cent of Indians agreed with him when he said that there should be a temporary restriction on Pakistani artistes working in the Hindi film industry and that an artiste of singer Rahat Fateh Ali Khans calibre should respect the sentiments of Indians.
Earlier this month, Supriyo — who sang for Hrithik Roshan’s debut film ‘Kaho Naa… Pyaar Hai’ — said the voice of the popular singer from Pakistan in the song “Ishtehaar” from the Bollywood film “Welcome to New York” must be dubbed by someone else. He also demanded a ban on Pakistani artistes in Bollywood.
“My morals and sensitivities as an artiste tell me that artistes have no religion, caste, creed, nationality or boundaries. But I said what I felt is right about Pakistani artistes staying away from Bollyood and Indian cinema, given the times, and Rahat, who I have great regards for as an artiste, will surely agree with the idea that ‘Samay se bada kuchh nahin hota’ (nothing is bigger than time),” said Supriyo.
He was quick to clarify that there is no formal ban on Pakistani artistes in India.
“The ball is in the court of every Indian, whether he or she wants to collaborate with Pakistan or not. More than 90 per cent of my countrymen agreed with me when I said that at the moment, there should be a restriction on Pakistani artistes in India.
“Isn’t that how it should be when two countries are in a war-like situation? An artiste of Rahat Ali Khan’s calibre should respect the sentiments of Indians. India and Bollywood have given him so much. Can’t he show a little bit of restraint? Wait for the situation to normalise.”