Padma Shri recipient Adnan Sami claims he is being used as a pawn by people who have been attacking the government for conferring him with the honour. "Frankly speaking, politicians actually don't have anything against me, because I am not a politician. I am a musician. In the morning, they will say bad things about me and in the evening they will sit with a drink and listen to my songs. As a musician, my job is to make people happy with music, and spread love. They are talking against me because they have their own political issues with the government," Adnan Sami told IANS.
He added: "I end up being a pawn in the whole thing. My name is simply being used because they have their animosity against political counterparts."
Maharashtra Minorities Development Minister and NCP spokesperson Nawab Malik tweeted that conferring Padma Shri to Sami is an insult to Indians. He alleged that the gesture of conferring the award to Sami was the government's effort to do damage control for being questioned over CAA and NRC.
National President of AntarRashtriya Hindu Parishad, Praveen Togadia, has reportedly said that honouring Sami with such an award is an insult to India's martyrs because Sami's father served the Pakistani Air Force.
In 2015, after his Pakistani passport expired, Sami applied for Indian citizenship. He was granted Indian citizenship in January 2016.
The singer reacted to criticism over his Padma victory saying: "While they are in the middle of this bickering with one another, they should not drag an artist into this. What have I got to do with politics? I am an artist and I have been given this award for excellence in the field I represent, which is music. By doing this, you are insulting the dignity of the prestigious award," he claimed.
Sami also expressed gratitude to his fans and the Indian government. "It's undoubtedly the greatest honour that anyone can ever receive. It is the personification of recognition of your efforts and hard work and the love which my fans and the people have for me, the respect and love the government has for my work. I am most grateful and extremely honoured. My entire family is extremely happy and proud," said the singer.
Ever since his Padma Shri win, Sami has been facing flak on social media too, but he seems unperturbed.
"As far as the trolls are concerned, I don't take them seriously. If you break it down, you will see 30 per cent of the trolls are trying to seek your attention. The next 30 per cent are those who are basically frustrated with themselves. The next 20 per cent are those who are misguided and the remaining are fools who believe in their own nonsense. So it's totally insignificant. I actually feel bad for them," the singer reveals his self-assessment of trolls.
Sami further expressed: "I wouldn't mind if they say that as a musician I am not deserving for this award. Attack me but don't attack the sanctity of this award which I value and respect a lot. For me, it's sacred."
"I have never indulged in politics. I have never said anything against the Congress or anybody, because I am not a politician. Most importantly, I have a career of 34 years, out of which 20 years have been devoted to Bollywood in India. I lived here for 20 years. My contribution is of 20 years in India alone! It's sad that just to further your agenda you are unnecessarily dragging In somebody who has nothing to do with politics," signed off the singer.