Adnan Sami: Pakistan doesn't value its artistes
Three years after he procured his Indian citizenship, Adnan Sami reflects on what prompted him to switch nationalities; singer to perform live in India for the first time
Former Pakistani national Adnan Sami seems unperturbed while chronicling the struggles he faced from the neighbouring country, even confessing to being bullied by social media users online. As he celebrates three years since he procured Indian citizenship in December 2015, the singer tells mid-day how Pakistan gave him little hope as an artiste.
Pakistan doesn't value its artistes. I will get trolled for what I have said, but, that is the reality. It is unfortunate. Pakistan never valued Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan saab until English songwriter Peter Gabriel started collaborating with him. After that, the country
suddenly realised that it has an amazing talent. This is the story of a lot of artistes there."
Following a decade-long struggle to receive an Indian passport, Sami was denied Pakistani citizenship a month before he became an Indian national. The move has left the singer with bitter memories. "The way the Pak government treated me is only testimony to the ill-treatment meted out to artistes. There was outrage against me.
People were amazed that I had applied for citizenship in India. I don't give a damn about getting trolled. I have earned immense respect and love in India," says Sami, who is gearing up for his first live performance in the country.
That the neighbouring country has also failed to condemn terror attacks perpetrated against India has also irked the singer. He points out that while Pakistani artistes have condemned the attacks in Orlando (2016) and Munich, few spoke against the September 2016 Uri attacks in India.
"When Indians have loved and embraced Pakistani artistes, why can't the latter come out in their support when injustice has been meted out to the people? No one wants these artistes to wage a war against their government. People didn't demand that they condemn their own country. They just expected them to say something for the sake of humanity," Sami says, as he recalls Mahesh Bhatt pleading Pak artistes "with folded hands" to condemn the attacks.
Sami is looking forward to performing at the charitable event, World's Biggest Guestlist Festival, which will educate one lakh underprivileged kids. "It is surprising that I have never performed live here. I am happy that with one performance, I will be able to educate so many kids. I will always be proud of this."
Sami first grew to fame with the chart-topper, Lift Kara De (2000) with Govinda. Ever since, he has collaborated with several Bollywood artistes, including Rani Mukerji, Ameesha Patel and Diya Mirza.
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