2-year ban on Pakistani artistes, Bollywood producers toughen stand on hiring talent from neighbouring country

The Salman Khan – Arijit Singh rivalry has taken a new turn. After their reported spat during an award function, Arijit Singh came out in the open to talk about his cold war with the Dabangg hero. The duo’s fight made headlines and it looks like their relationship has only soured over time.

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Salman-Arijit war was back in the headlines when reports suggested that the Tum Hi Ho singer was replaced by Rahat Fateh Ali to sing Ishtehaarin Welcome To New York, a film Salman has a small part to play in. Bollywood singer and Union Minister Babul Supriyo expressed his concerns about the same and also suggested that Indian talent should be given preference over Pakistani artistes.

Defending the decision of choosing Rahat Fateh Ali Khan for the song, music composer Shamir Tandon said that ‘people should take a collective stand against all Pakistani artists and not just single out one person.’

“If as a country, or even as an industry, we take a collective stance against working with artists (who are all blessed by Goddess Saraswati, irrespective of the origin) from across the border, I’m happy to adhere to the same. I will be the first one to refrain,” Shamir Tandon told IANS.

The CEO of the Indian Film and Television Producer Council (IFTPC), Suresh Amin, said that the council is seeking to impose a 2-year ban on Pakistani artistes working in the Hindi film industry. It was said that at a press conference in Mumbai on Wednesday, where Welcome to New York producer Vashu Bhagnani was also present along with Babul. As per reports, IFTPC CEO stated that said the producers’ council will pass a resolution and inform Bollywood producers to stop working with Pakistani artistes for the next two years.

A distressed Bhagnani said, “Prints have been sent worldwide. I cannot undo it but I assure all of you that my next ventures won’t feature any Pakistani artistes. For me, India comes first.” He also added, “We will spread the word in the industry and send notices to everyone that ‘please stop (working with) all Pakistani artistes’

Supriyo (who is a singer and now a Union minister) demanded that Pakistani artists should be banned from Bollywood. Referring to songs sung by Atif Aslam and Rahat Fateh Ali Khan in Salman Khan’s film and that they replaced Arijit Singh, Supriyo said, “If that’s true, I would request the makers of the film to remove Rahat’s voice and get someone else to dub it! I am also not sure why Atif Aslam got to sing Dil Diya Gallan (in the film Tiger Zinda Hai) when for sure our very own Arijit could have done a much better job. The FM stations played the song galore while news channels announced the name of our soldiers martyred by Pakistan-sponsored terrorists.”

An irritated Shamir raised the question that why is his song becoming a target for selecting a Pakistani singer whereas, there have been several famous ditties in the voices of singers from the neighbouring country. “My point is, how come the same Pakistani singer Rahat Fateh Ali Khan’s Jag Ghumiya, which was used in the film Sultan, Mere Rashke Qamar, which was used in Baadshaho, skips this sentiment. Or for that matter, Atif Aslam’s recently released Dil Diyan Gallan in Tiger Zinda Hai or the Ajay Devgn song Sanu Ek Pal Chain in the film Raid released a couple of days ago. Why were these songs not pulled up for using Pakistani voices, while mine has? Because most of those are cover versions and mine is an original?”

 Director Chakri Toleti says the makers are yet to decide whether to accept the suggestion of the singer-turned-Union minister.

Welcome to New York comprises an ensemble cast of Karan Johar, Diljit Dosanjh, Sonakshi Sinha, Riteish Deshmukh, Boman Irani, Lara Dutta, Sushant Singh Rajput and Rana Daggubati. Superstar Salman Khan has a cameo role in the film.

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