Singer turned Union Minister of State for Heavy Industries and Public Enterprises Babul Supriyo yesterday asked Bollywood to take a stand on imposing a temporary ban on Pakistan artistes.
In a press conference held yesterday in New Delhi regarding his demand to ban the song ‘Ishtehaar’ from the forthcoming comedy WELCOME TO NEW YORK starring Diljit Dosanjh, Sonakshi Sinha, Karan Johar, Riteish Deshmukh, Lara Dutta and Boman Irani. Produced by Vashu Bhagnani and Jackky Bhagnani, the said spoof on awards enrolled in an unfortunate controversy when the song sung by Rahat Fateh Ali Khan started gaining popularity.
Babul Supriyo said “Bollywood should show solidarity to Indian soldiers by not engaging with artistes from that country”.
Asking for a ban on Pakistani artists for a temporary basis considering the tense situation at the border, the Mos also pressed for changing the voice from the song sung by Rahat Fateh Ali Khan.
The singer turned Mos was addressing the media along with the producer of the film Vashu Bhagnani.
Expressing his views at the press conference, the Minister said, “From a sensibility of an artiste, I believe we have no border, caste, religion. Having said that, when our soldiers are being killed on the borders, like in cricket — not playing with Pakistan — a statement from Bollywood will make a huge impact,”
Recalling the stand taken during Karan Johar’s AE DIL HAI MUSHKIL controversy, which starred Pakistani heartthrob Fawad Khan, he said, “I feel this is the right time to take a stand, and probably have a temporary ban. If Bollywood agrees, soldiers on the border will feel good.”
Producer Vashu Bhagnani supported the move but expressed his inability to change the voice of the said song, he said, “We want to remove the song but it is not possible at the last moment, as the prints have gone all over the world. But for us, India and (Indian) soldiers come first – we don’t want to hurt anyone.”
Suresh Amin, CEO of Indian Films and TV Producers Council has also supported the call for the temporary ban on Pakistani artiste, making a promise Suresh Amin said, “The council will send notice to the industry to simply stop Pakistani artistes” and call for a ban”.