Singer-turned-politician and union minister, Babul Supriyo, has penned an open letter to singer Rahat Fateh Ali Khan and said the effort to solve tensions between India and Pakistan through art and music is a “failed doctrine”.
The BJP MP from Asansol had recently objected to Pakistani artistes working in Bollywood and had called for a temporary ban on them.
“May I confess that I do understand that how your patriotism stands in the way you specially condemning the cross-border terrorism sponsored by people with vested interests in your government, ample material evidence of which exists in the public domain and as classified information made available to the important and relevant international agencies including the United Nations.
“While I empathise with your predicament, you may wish to agree that my love for my country makes it impossible for me to ignore the fact that, dreaded individuals on international terror lists, namely Dawood Ibrahim, Hafeez Saeed, Syed Salahudeen Zakiur Rehman Laqvi etc,” Supriyo said in the letter, a copy of which he posted on his Twitter handle.
The minister also said the artistes from the music industry, including Rahat, should pressure the Pakistan government to put an end to its support to terror activities.
“You will be inclined to agree that maybe the time has come, when instead of repeating the failed doctrine in this case, that ‘music and cricket between India and Pakistan will help ease tension’, powerful and loved individuals like you and others from the musical fraternity get together with those from the cricketing fraternity to put pressure on your government to refrain from such ‘support to terrorism’, a fact that is endorsed by majority of the leading nations of the world,” Supriyo added.
Amidst the controversy over the minister’s stand, which he had said was personal, on Pakistani artistes working in Bollywood, Rahat had earlier tweeted, “In midst of so much being said all I can say is music has no boundaries and thank everyone for showing so much love for the songs which I am a part of.”
Responding to Rahat’s tweet, Supriyo said he agrees to the fact that music has no boundaries, but artistes should take a firm stand on issues like terrorism and promote peace.
“I too firmly believe that music and art has no boundaries and borders.... Time has come when we musicians should not restrict ourselves to just bask in the glory assuming ‘music will ease all tensions’ but instead resort to some real reconciliatory actions to help peace for all of us,” Supriyo said.