Afrin was the first runner-up in the 2015 season of the popular musical reality TV show Indian Idol Junior. Nahid made her Bollywood debut singing for Sonakshi Sinha in the 2016 film 'Akira'. Leaflets with the fatwa in Assamese as well as the names of clerics were distributed in central Assam. The fatwa stated that a March 25 programme at Udali Sonai Bibi College in Assam, where Nahid 16 is scheduled to perform is "against the Sharia". "If anti-Sharia acts like musical nights are held on grounds surrounded by masjids, idgahs, madrassas and graveyards, our future generations will attract the wrath of Allah," the fatwa stated. Pic/Twitter
Speaking to the media, Afrin said, "I was broken completely after hearing about the 'fatwa'. But I am not going to stop singing. I have received hundreds of calls and messages from the people of Assam and different organisations supporting me. I am a singer and music is my life. I don't think I can survive without music. Allah has blessed me with this voice for singing, and I'll die if I am not allowed to sing," added Afrin
Speaking to mid-day, she commented, “The news [of the fatwa] came as a shock. Initially, I thought it was a rumour. But when my father switched on the TV, we learnt that 46 Muslim organisations had issued a fatwa against me. I was hurt. They've treated me like a culprit. They want me to quit music. Music means everything to me, and music has no religion," she said
Nahid alleged the clerics have picked on her because she is a girl. "If I were a boy, they wouldn't have had an issue. They are trying to browbeat me because I'm a girl," she said. Crediting her parents for offering her unconditional support, she said they have been citing examples of Muslim musicians like Begum Parveen Sultana, Rahat Fateh Ali Khan, Javed Ali, AR Rahman and Salim Merchant to keep up her strength. "They are an inspiration. So, I have decided that come what may, I will face this situation bravely." In Pic: Sonakshi Sinha in a still from Rajj Rajj Ke sung by Nahid for Akira
Revealing that this isn't the first time she is being 'troubled,' she said, "Even when I was part of Indian Idol, some maulanas and maulvis spoke ill of me. Some imams and maulanas criticised me in the jumma namaz. My maternal uncle attended one namaz where they said, 'If you have voted for Nahid, do tauba (repent), since she is doing a gunah (crime) by singing.' I ignored them, but it's important that I speak out now. I can't be quiet anymore."
Vishal Dadlani, who gave Afrin her break in Akira, said, "It's unfortunate that we live in a climate where there is proliferation of godmen/religious leaders who do the most absurd things. She's a 15-year-old girl, with a voice that is a gift. They should encourage her to make Assam and India proud. Instead, we see this. It’s an absolute shame. Artistes are defenceless. Oppressors get publicity by beating us down. I hope people support Nahid and stand up for her. The Assam government must guarantee her freedom and safety."
Holding that 'fatwas' have no legal or constitutional basis, noted lawyer and human rights activist Vrinda Grover says steps should be taken to ensure protection for young Assamese singer Nahid Afrin, against whom some Islamic clerics have issued a 'fatwa'. The diktat threatens her right to life and liberty, Grover said. "Steps should be taken against those who issued the fatwas and the girl should be protected. You are not only abridging her freedom of expression but also threatening her right to life and liberty. The message needs to go out that these are completely unconstitutional," Grover told IANS. Pic/AFP
Shiv Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray supports teenage singing sensation Nahid Afrin. He said that the Muslim clerics who have issued a fatwa against the 16-year-old for singing, should be probed for their nationality, and why they were ganging up against a child and instigating Indian Muslims in the garb of shariyat. Thackeray took to Twitter on Thursday to express his strong views on the raging issue that has brought to the fore the freedom of expression and the right to earn. “It is wrong that any Mullah gets up and issues an unwarranted fatwa in the name of Quran and Shariyat. The fundamentalist clerics in Assam have shown their muscle power and ganged up against a budding singer, Nahid Afrin,” he said. “Who has given these people the right to muzzle the sweet voice of the hapless girl?” he asked