Is music just music or does it have a nationality?

Published: February 10, 2013

If talent and armed conflict could remain separate decades ago, today, when the online world is casting borderless societies, one will not majorly affect the other.

In the early 1980s, when Ghulam Ali’s melody ‘chukpe chukpe raat din’ and Nazia Hasan’s sensuous ‘aap jaisa koi’ took Indian film-viewing audience by a storm, the armies of both nations were engaged in a severe conflict on the highest battlefield on earth – the Siachen glacier.

Two decades later, the Siachen conflict grew to become one of the major factors for the Kargil war of 1999, in a parallel universe at around the same time, the Pakistani band Junoon was making the youth of India groove to the tunes of ‘sayonee’.

If talent and armed conflict could remain separate decades ago, today, when the online world is casting a wider web and borderless societies are being formed, one will not majorly affect the other. When Indian connoisseurs of qawwali sit down to download a collection, they would most likely type in “Ustad Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan” or “Sabri Brothers”, caring less about the nationality of the performers.

“Never thought of them as Pakistani talents till date,” said Vasudha Dalmia, a resident of Coimbatore, she was talking about talents like Rahet Fateh Ali Khan, Atif Aslam and Ali Zafar, “they are all super”. When a music lover listens to laagi tumse mann ki lagan’, he is enthralled by the voice, the emotions, the melody and would not be bothered by the nationality of the singer.

For the world outside the subcontinent, Jagjit Singh and Ghulam Ali are both just fantastic ghazal singers.

“Oh, are they from different countries?” questioned Zahra Nadeem a resident of Eygpt, when asked to comment on the two singers.

Pakistan and India can never overlook the fact that they share a common history, which gave rise to a common culture, language and sensibilities.

People in Lucknow, Allahabad and Delhi would be mesmerised by Farida Khannum and Mehdi Hasan as much as people in Lahore would.

My friend Arun Siddalingappa once said,

“It’s art! There’s nothing political about art”.

Art is never apolitical.

When artists choose to perform in a rival country, they are making a political point. When audience throng the concerts of these artists, they are making a political point. And when the authorities try to stall performances, they are also making a political point. It is just time to recognise that there is a huge gap between the divisive politics of the authorities and inclusive politics of the audience.

Talent has been reasonably democratic (for those who can afford to do art for a living!), despite borders. I am sure Randhir Kapoor chose Zeba Bakhtiar to act in his 1982 film Heena because of her talent as an actor, not because India was lacking acting talent. Just as Vishal Bharadwaj decided to ask Rahat Fateh Ali Khan to sing the famed dil to bachcha hai ji because it fit his voice quality and singing talent, not because singers are few in India.

Anand, who lives in Boston believes otherwise.

“Supporting Pakistani artists is like feeding our neighbour’s kids while our kids starve just because we want to be the most popular mom living in the street,” he says, “It doesn’t matter how well-behaved the neighbour’s kids may be, our kids come first! Simple!”

Question; why don’t organisers in India think twice about a Lady Gaga or a Beyonce performance that involves millions of dollars of revenue?

Let alone the fact that the US has committed war crimes against several countries, some would argue that the US has caused India more political hurdles in international forums, than Pakistan has caused in the neighbourhood.

Also, considering these pop singers have put our indie singers out of business?

Because when Lady Gaga performs in India, she is a pop singer first and a US citizen later. Similarly, when Atif Aslam sings, his country of origin becomes his secondary identity (at least to the audience that enjoys him).

Personally, I will be indebted to Mehdi Hasan’s 1985 album Kehne Usse’ and Rahat Fateh Ali Khan’s 2006 solo ‘nainon ki mat suniyo’ for keeping me company over many a pensive, lonely night.

Read more by Raksha here or follow her on Twitter @Raksha_Kumar

Raksha Kumar

Raksha Kumar

The author is a Bangalore based video journalist freelancing for the New York Times and the BBC. She graduated from the Graduate School of Journalism, Columbia University in May 2011 where she majored in TV news. She is a Fulbright Scholar and has worked in various media outlets in India. She tweets @Raksha_Kumar.

The views expressed by the writer and the reader comments do not necessarily reflect the views and policies of The Express Tribune.

  • Queen

    I must say you have written a brilliant piece and have raised some very important points. I agree with you that art is never political but i want to ask some questions:

    “If art is not political then why did the Indian authorities send back Pakistani artists when the report about skirmishes at the LoC became public?”

    “Why were Pakistani artists forced to cancel their shows in India?”

    “Does this mean that Shiv Sena is more powerful than the Indian government?”Recommend

  • Nandita.

    Anand Kashyap, a student at Harvard Business School believes otherwise.

    “Supporting Pakistani artists is like feeding our neighbour’s kids while our kids starve just because we want to be the most popular mom living in the street,” he says, “It doesn’t matter how well-behaved the neighbour’s kids may be, our kids come first! Simple!”

    Says this guy, Anand Kashyap,an Indian who is sitting in the US and studying at an American university. In all likelihood, he’ll also nab a high paying job somewhere in the states after passing out. If the admissions cell at Harvard had believed in and followed Kashyap’s logic – it would have been a white/black American guy studying there in his place. Going by his logic, American corporations should never employ him, they should concentrate on ‘feeding American kids first.’ Is the irony lost on him?Recommend

  • Parvez

    Very nicely put and thank you for writing on an interesting topic. I for one love music and listen to anything that sounds good to me, if I were to discriminate on the basis of nationality, only I would be the looser.Recommend

  • BlackJack

    Frankly these issues seems to largely reside in the writer’s muddled mind, and are hardly relevant for most music lovers. Apart from the gross factual inaccuracies in the article (Nazia Hassan sang Aap jaisa koi in Qurbaani (1980);Ghulam Ali sang Chupke Chupke raat din in Nikaah (1982); Sayonee was a 1997 number and Junoon had released at least 1-2 more albums before Kargil, and had even performed at a Dosti concert with Silk Route on Vajpayee’s invitation), there is a big assumption here – When artists choose to perform in a rival country, they are making a political point.
    Artists perform where their music is appreciated by a reasonably large audience – period (assuming there are no other constraints in travel). Those who wish to make political statements do so, but not through their performances, but through the platform that their fame provides – the writer has confused the two. Also, Raj Kapoor chose Zeba Bakhtiar for the role of a Pakistani girl to infuse an element of reality into the story – if she was that good, she would have appeared in many more Indian films. The writer needs to grow up, liberal values are easier to appreciate when they are not obscured with plaintive poppycock.Recommend

  • Raj – USA

    Any form of music is unislamic. Ask Ansar Abbasi. He says that according to his Islam any form of music and dance is allowed only in brothels. Recommend

  • Ashmad

    Even R Kumar her selections of quotes are not apolitical, Art confined to borders, narrow approach, A syndrome engulfing sports,arts, science,education, trades into WAR.Recommend

  • Indian

    @Raksha Kumar

    When you say something about Pakistan or its people , then you should know that it going to be political as Pakistan was itself carved out of Indian mainland because of political reasons . What Anada Kashyap told is absolutely right , we should nurture our own kids , rather that nurturing others . Yes, music has nationality , not only nationality , but also culture.
    Music is part and parcel of our life and culture unlike others . Lady Gaga and Britney are products of globalization , but we see Pakistani singers as a product of hate . So please stop comparison and promote our own culture .Recommend

  • Raj Kafir

    Is music just music or does it have a nationality? It positively has a religion, for example, a Qafi of Bulle Shah is, ” Mandir Dhah De, Masjid Dhah De, Dhah De Jo Kujh Dhehnda, Per Kisse Da Dil Na Dhahwee Bulleya, Rubb Dilan Wich Rehnda”…………

    In Pakistan the same Qafi has been fine tuned on religion lines like this, ” Mandir Dhah De, Dhah De SHIVALA, Dhah De Jo Kujh Dhehnda, Per Kisse Da Dil Na Dhahwee Bulleya, Rubb Dilan Wich Rehnda”..

    The word MASJID is very cleverly removed out of Bulle Shah’s original Qafi in Pakistan…

    Destruction of Hindu Temples is acceptable but the destruction of a Mosque is not acceptable in the lyrics. Yes music has a nationality when nation is Pakistan.Recommend

  • kaalchakra

    Who said music does not have nationality? Indian music can’t hold half a candle to Pakistani music. NFK, Ghulam Ali, Mohmmad Rafi, Mehdi Hasan – Pakistani singers and musicians have conquered and ruled India just as did all other Pakistanis in history. Sonu Nigham can be called a singer only in India!Recommend

  • http://www.computerandyou.net Abhishek

    I am sure Raj Kapoor chose Zeba Bakhtiar to act in his 1982 film Heena because of her talent as an actor, not because India was lacking acting talent.

    Heena was released in 1991. It was directed by Randhir Kappor and not Raj Kappor. Raj Kapoor had already dead in 1988.

    As a blogger I can only say that you loose ‘credibility points’ when you put incorrect stats. Recommend

  • Indian

    Who is this column aimed at, Madam? Who are you addressing this to? Indians? Then why is it published in the ET?

    This “Anand Kashyap” who you found at Harvard, talking nonsense about Pakistani artists, is a tiny minority. I have lived in India for the last 10 years, have many friends from all kinds of backgrounds and we’ve all enjoyed Rahat’s and Ali Zafar’s music. Stop stereotyping Indians as being some kind of narrow-minded bigots and fools who need lectures like the one you’re giving us here.

    I think the origin of this line of thinking that you’re presuming exists — and also the origin of the huge apparent concern for Shah Rukh Khan that we saw in Pakistan — is simple. It’s an ideology seeking to justify itself. The Two-Nation Theory. Every success that an Indian Muslim, or Punjabi Muslim from Pakistan has in India, further disproves the idea that Muslims could never flourish in India because Hindus would not allow them to succeed. That’s the insecurity you’re pandering to here. Stop playing this game.Recommend

  • gp65

    @kaalchakra: Mohammed Rafi was more in PAkistan and moved to India. I am unsure how you describe him as a Pakistani? As for your opinion of whose music you prefer – well you certainly are entitled to your choice.Recommend

  • http://peddarowdy.wordpress.com Anoop

    India should not opt to be,or perhaps will never be, a Hindu Pakistan. We love Music, Movies, Dance, Literature.. We love to Love even and have been the only culture to celebrate Love.

    Pakistan is an exception to most Islamic states. Music is still called un-Islamic by many Islamists in Pakistan, but it has remnants of India in it still and that makes it produce so many Musicians, which is a very good thing.

    Pakistan is slowly surely kicking India out and turning into Pakistan. Lahore was a movie hub before Partition, Sikhs and Hindus took that culture with them, so it seems, because today it imports movies from the same Hindus and Sikhs.

    Coming back to India, India if it does not treat Artists well, it will not live up to its own high standards. It will be a disservice to the colourful, vibrant Hindu culture. After all the Singers who do come down here sing the Indian Raagas. Raagas didn’t come from the Burqa wearing Arabs, but from the local culture, called Hinduism.

    Its like saying only Chinese should practice Kung Fu. Its a brand- the more people practice Kung Fu, the bigger the Chinese brand becomes. Same with such India origin music. Recommend

  • vasanth pai

    @Queen:
    Obviously to protect them from the hot headed ultra nationalist elements. Pak Women’s World Cup team was also kept outof Mumbai a shiv sena strong hold. This action was not retaliation but precaution againt violence. International cricket board also does not allow foreign teams to play in Pakistan ( after what happened to the Srilanka team) for security concerns, not because they hate Pakistan. Recommend

  • abhi

    @Nandita.

    so do you think Barack Obama is a fool who is opposing outsourcing of jobs?Recommend

  • Zeeshan

    @Nandita.:
    Wanted to put more then one recommendation on it.Recommend

  • Nitish

    Problem is somewhere else.Its not that people dont like pakistani artists or for that matter artists from any other country.I think pakistanis should blame themselves for the treatment they get in india.Problem started the day rinkel was forcefully converted .From there right wingers started questioning the govt. and the left.govt and the left both went into the Shell for hiding their faces.Tit for tat game is going on.Else common mass have nothing to do with india-pak crap in the film industry.Many dont even know the nationality of rahat and atif.They just listen and enjoy their songs……thats all.My suggestion would be that pakistanis should start treating their minority on equal basis.If they think that they r muslim and that gives them some kinda moral high ground against people from other religion then they r absolutely in complete dilusion.Recommend

  • Parvez

    @Nandita.: Brilliant comment Nandita………….there must be a lawyer hidden inside you somewhere. Recommend

  • Indian

    @Nandita.: Are you crazy? When India conducted nuclear tests in Pokhran, several Indian students and professionals were indeed denied visa. Your comparison of the relations with India-Pakistan and India-US shows your lack of depth of knowledge. Please brush up your facts and understand the historic context.

    And the author: “some would argue that the US has caused India more political hurdles in international forums, than Pakistan has caused in the neighborhood.” who are these “some”?

    Are you out of your mind to say US has caused more harm to India than Pakistan. India and Pakistan have gone to war thrice and serious escalations twice. Don’t you understand anything about geo-politics at all?

    The right comparison would be, would Vietnam allow Beyonce to perform in Vietnam in the 1970′s. Answer that for me please.Recommend

  • insaan

    @Nandita.: Going by his logic, American corporations should never employ him, they should concentrate on ‘feeding American kids first.’ Is the irony lost on him?

    American corporations will hire an American first. All these people on H1 or green card get opportunity only when there are no Americans to do the job.Recommend

  • Nandita.

    @Zeeshan:
    @Parvez:

    Thankyou. Compliments are rare to come by on ET especially when you are me.Recommend

  • Sudheer

    It’s a boring and meaningless writeup. What’s the purpose of this article Miss Kumar? What’s new in it? Are you trying to teach us the old, eternal and zillion times repeated truth that an artist might be having a religion but the art that he/she represents is secular, hence universal and similar other boring, but, truthful blah blahs? Anyone with little sense, including Anand Kashyap, knows that music has no religion, nationality and in this modern technology dominated era, it became possible for singers like Mukesh/M.Rafi to live for eternity. But, what baffles me is your poor judgement of Anand Kashyap’s comment. Why are you taking it at its face value? In fact, his comment reflects his hatred of Pakistan rather than lack of his intellect, as there are millions of other people, not only in India, but, around the world, who carry similar feelings for Pakistan and with good reasons.
    If Pakistani artists, players, etc. are facing hostility in India, then, that is not because of their lack of appreciation for art or artists, but, the hate is directed at their nationality which as you rightly said, is wrong. However, you can’t blame them entirely. No matter how handsome/beautiful one’s husband/boyfriend or wife/girlfriend might be, the moment you find his/her infidelity, you are bound to erupt in rage and hate. This is exactly the case with Pakistani artists, players and even with ordinary Pakistanis.
    Instead of explaining this phenomenon to your Pakistani readers.Recommend

  • Raj Kafir

    @kaalchakra: Marhoom Janab Mohammad Rafi Saab was born in village Kotla Sultan Singh in the District of Amritsar. He was a spy in the British Army. Seeing his love for singing his CO let him try his luck in Lahore Film Industry. He moved to Bombay after the partition of the country. His last visit to his home town was in 1951. He passed away in Bombay on 31 July 1980. In short Rafi Saab was not a Pakistani.Recommend

  • Nandita.

    @Indian:

    Your comparison of the relations with India-Pakistan and India-US shows your lack of depth of knowledge.

    Have I compared relations here ? Please read Anand Kashyap’s words and then my comment. Neither of us spoke about international relations or foreign policy. Recommend

  • gp65

    @Nandita
    I enjoy Ghulam Ali and RFAK too. But your logic is incorrect. To apply for Green card in US as a professional, one has to go through a labour certification process which includes ads in a newspaper that qualified Americans are not available for a job. Same thing for H1b petitions. Enjoying Pakistani musicians when they sing in Pakistan and employing them in the Indian industry are two distinct issues. You are on a weak ground when you try to conflate the 2 using the US example since the US does the exact opposite of what you say should happen.Recommend

  • Loki

    I just dont get it . Why our artists are dying to perform in india our talented artists are working for indian films . They should be in Pakistan and try to make our Industry betterRecommend

  • BigotNot

    @Loki:
    “I just dont get it . Why our artists are dying to perform in india our talented artists are working for indian films . They should be in Pakistan and try to make our Industry better”

    What industry? You know what “industry” is thriving in Pakistan and its definitely not the music or film industry.Recommend

  • gp65

    @BlackJack

    Most of the factual errors you pointed out were on target. There was one more though that you missed. Henna was released in 1991 and Raj Kapoor died in 1988. It is Randhir Kaoor who directed that movie not Raj Kapoor as indicated by Ms. Kumar.Recommend

  • peter

    @Raj Kafir:
    all muslims in india are pakisRecommend

  • Nandita.

    @gp65:

    That’s only when you apply for a visa not when you apply for your green card. My sister in law is a citizen and this is the process that was followed when her family got citizenship.
    What about South Asian cabbies, shop owners etc. Are Americans incapable of these kind of jobs as well?
    So many OF my friends are in the US. I do not know which Visa they went there on but they do job hop. So every time an Indian citizen changes jobs, is there a check done to see if there are no americans who could do that job ? Just asking for my info.Recommend

  • abhi

    @Nandita
    common you are comparing artists with cab drivers now?Recommend

  • gp65

    @Nandita.: “That’s only when you apply for a visa not when you apply for your green card. My sister in law is a citizen and this is the process that was followed when her family got citizenship.”

    You are wrong. If the green card is based on professional reasons then what I said is correct. The case of your sister in law seems to be based on family petition which is quite different. I stand by what I said.Recommend

  • Nandita.

    @gp65:

    What is citizenship based on family petition?

    She and her husband moved to the US from India as software engineers – for professional reasons. Her kids were born in the US. These two job hopped as well (even as Indian Passport Holders) – I doubt the authorities did a check to ascertain whether an American citizen could have been absorbed into the company instead. Recommend

  • Milind

    @Nandita – Few points

    The Kashyap guy tried to make a valid point, however his analogy is incorrect – equating soul stirring/sublime vocation of art with that of daily wage earner’s driven solely with the desire to make money.
    Attracting top talent across all the fields is the policy of the U.S. Govt. However it does not allow having hordes from other countries overrun its cities and is very selective and scrutinizes each application. The objective of the worker visa programs was to hire talent from abroad to address the shortfall of domestic talent. In fact the U.S. has tightened the H1B visa issues and closed the door on many Indian professionals recently. Thus the idea Anand Kashyap grabbing a localite’s job is far-fetched.
    Finally U.S. has (or for that matter any country should have) consistency in it foreign policy. One cannot have artists from our neighbouring country visit us to create a false sense of bonhomie, while having their establishment plan subversive acts and kill our citizens wantonly. Any policy should be based on ideology and greater good, but also should have a touch of pragmatism to it.

    @Author – “Pakistan and India can never overlook the fact that they share a common history, which gave rise to a common culture, language and sensibilities.”

    In fact all the Indian bloggers on ET and public are saying the same thing for ages, however most Pakistanis find it hard to accept the fact are more inclined towards sharing Arabic culture.

    @kaalchakra – For once I agree with you. Pakistani talent has better depth than Indian ones – especially the likes of Sonu Nigam. This could be because your artists are far more dedicated and the lack of commercialisation in art. In the Hindi musical Baiju Bawra, Tansen’s rival says “Hum koin Bajaru gawayein nahi hein” – this would apply to Pakistani artists.Recommend

  • Nandita.

    @Milind:

    I did not and will not read your comments to me. Just checked to see if u mentioned my name – which you had.Recommend

  • Milind

    @Nandita – “So every time an Indian citizen changes jobs, is there a check done to see if there are no americans who could do that job ? Just asking for my info.”

    Yes and No. Most laws like these checks are overlooked when everything is hunky-dory, but are tightly enforced (without notice) when economic conditions worsen. In fact my wife’s H1B application was rejected, my green card was delayed (though it was issued later), when the economy nosedived in 2001-2004.
    Typically H1B/L1B visa extensions are a cakewalk (a formality) once you’re abroad and the economy is in good shape. However in 2004 a few of our (and other Indian vendor) company employees had to return back, after INS scrutinized each petition and refused to extend their visa, since unemployment was higher there. The same thing was repeated in 2007, when employees visiting India (on vacation) remained stranded here, since the U.S. consulates went on an overdrive in their due diligence. Most of them opted to quit (and stay back in India) and asked their friends in U.S. to dispose off their assets.Recommend

  • Nandita.

    @Milind:

    Again, I did not and will not read your comments to me. That was decided after your ‘ circus called democracy’ comment. There are certain people I do not want to interact with.
    You are entitled to your thoughts,opinions and are free to write to me but I do not want to read anything you have to say to me or anyone else.Recommend

  • Nandita.

    @insaan:

    Irrespective of what the American authorities do – kashyap still went abroad for his education didn’t he ? He’s willing to go abroad for his benefit – he’s reaping the benefits of the education system/degree of one of the best universities in America but he does not want foreigners to benefit from a career in India. Seems Hypocritical to meRecommend

  • Working Woman

    I am not big fan of any music but certainly Art & talent are above political boundaries.Recommend

  • Working Woman

    To add more, I must say that artists SELL themselves with their own intent either to a nation or a global venue depending on interest in fame & money.Recommend

  • Message for Nandita

    @Nandita.: Hate the game, not the player. Why indulge in personal attacks? Recommend

  • gp65

    @Nandita.: “@gp65:
    What is citizenship based on family petition?
    She and her husband moved to the US from India as software engineers – for professional reasons. Her kids were born in the US. These two job hopped as well (even as Indian Passport Holders) – I doubt the authorities did a check to ascertain whether an American citizen could have been absorbed into the company instead.”

    I think you are geuninely asking me questions, so let me answer:
    1. Greencard = permanent residence not citizenship. Unless the greencard was obtained because one is a spouse of an American citizenship, one has to wait at least 5 years after green card to get citizenship. Once you have green card, granting of citizenship is a matter of time (assuming you apply). But labor certification most definitely is part of the greencard process for professionals.
    2. Yes, your cousins may have job hopped using their approved H1B, but the essential job definition that they would have moved to would have been unchanged. The transfer of H1B is a legal process requiring government approval and they see the job definition pay and check that it is essentially unchanged before allowing a person to transfer to another company using their existing H1B. HEre they are relying on the fact that if the original job had gone through labour certification and this is more or less the same, then there is a shortage of skilled personnel in that area. I know of a person who had a job in Dallas who was denied transfer of H1B petition to Houston because Houston apparently did not have a shortage of those specific skills. IF the position was significantly different, then the new employer would have to go through the labour certification process all over gain.
    3. Family based greencard petition that I had referred to is if greencard holder sponsors their underaged children or a US citizens sponsors their spouse, children above 21/married children, sibling etc. The requirement for these petitions is not labour certification but proof that the sponsor has a certain level of income (based on US poverty guidelines) to support the people they are sponsoring so that they do not become dependent on state welfare. Some of the family based petitions e.g. sponsoring siblings by a US citizen or sponsoring kids over 21 can take more than10 years to come through. So US immigration is not the open tap that you have been led to believe.

    I hope this information helps.Recommend

  • gp65

    @Nandita.: I don’t endorse what KAshyap says but when he goes abroad to study, he is paying much higher tuition than locals effectively cross subsidizing them. IF after this education, he does not get an H1B (which many do not), he will at least not have received any economic benefit. This is similar to people coming to India to be operated because healthcare costs are lower in India. If India allows such people, India is not doing a favour to them because they are paying for themselves and supporting an Indian business. Kashyap is doing the same i.e. paying his way and supporting an American business.

    So I am just saying that using Kashyap’s example to justify the idea that it is okay for Pakistani artistes to work in Bollywood is flawed. Personally though, like you, I do support movement of art across the border because it benefits Indians who can have the best of both worlds. It is for this exact same reason that I thought it was a good thing that works of 6 Pakistani artistes are currently being displayed in Mumbai. http://tribune.com.pk/story/505369/art-beyond-borders-gallery-6-takes-pakistani-artists-to-india/Recommend

  • Nandita.

    @gp65:

    Points 1 and 2 I was already aware of.
    Point 3 – UK has a similar process I believe.

    Kashyap is doing the same i.e. paying his way and supporting an American business.

    Exactly my point gp65. No one is doing anyone a favour here. American universities are not doing foreign students a favour, neither is bollywood doing pakistani singers a favour.

    Yes, students studying abroad pay a high tuition but it’s a good investment and I’m sure the returns for a Harvard pass out are much higher. So, he is benefiting from a foreign education. Acc to wikipedia, the IIM A global ranking is apparently 56 whereas the Harvard is probably at NO 1 or No 2. So, the returns are far higher than anything he may have invested in his education. So why begrudge the success of a handful of Pakistani singers who practice their craft in India? I think bollywood ( not to mention ardent fans like me ) stands to lose if singers like Rahat Fateh Ali Khan are ousted. Singers and songs contribute to the financial success of a film as well.

    I wasn’t using Kashyap’s example as a justification. – I was merely exposing his hypocritical words.

    Thankyou for the link about pak artists. I will definitely read the article. Although, there was no need to paste it here – As an Indian , I am aware of how loving and welcoming my countrymen are ( barring the few exceptions ) :)

    @Message for Nandita: Seriously, couldn’t you think of a better moniker ? You should have just used your usual moniker.

    I am incapable of emotions like hatred. Simply, incapable. I haven’t felt hatred towards anyone so far in life.
    I did not personally attack anyone. I do not wish to interact with certain people. That’s all. No hatred. I steer clear of people whose ideologies are completely different from mine because bickering is stressful. Avoiding someone is NOT the same as personally attacking them.
    Infact, if you go through comments written to me by certain people – you’ll know i’m often the one who is personally attacked. Recommend

  • Nandita.

    @gp65 –
    I don’t think getting a green card or citizenship is a cake walk.
    I have friends, various relatives there. My husband lived in the states for a few years before we got married so I am aware of many procedures Indians need to follow to study / work in the US. Recommend

  • gp65

    @Nandita.:
    Well then, if you understand that the US is very selective about allowing a foreign national working in US and it is only after taking care of its own citizens does it give them opportunity, then I am sure you will not use that example as a justification of a carte Blanche to foreign artistes working in India. You may still believe that is the right thing to do but the example of Aditya was not the right one to support that point of view.

    In the end, individuals will want to move to places where their life can have improved economic opportunites but citizens of a country also expect that their own government worries about their interests. This is a push and pull that goes on. Sometimes things favor current citizens and sometimes immigrants/foreign workers.Recommend

  • BlackJack

    @gp65:
    You are right on Randhir Kapoor, of course. While I knew that Heena was released after Raj Kapoor’s demise, I wasn’t sure about the extent of his involvement with the project. What I mentioned related to Raj Kapoor in my earlier comment will therefore need to be read as Randhir Kapoor.

    On the ongoing discussion between @Nandita and everyone else, I see merit in her point – it is not that Indian industries are all going out and employing Pakistanis while our people starve; the only industry which does employ a select bunch of Pakistanis is the film industry, and this is because they have something credible to offer that film makers/ music directors do not find in Indian talent (at least the ones that they have access to); I cannot fault their decision, because the Indian people seem to enjoy the end-product, and that is what matters in the entertainment space. No one seems to factor their country of origin in the picture, and I am certain that it does them no good anyway. So while the comparison with Sri Kashyap’s analogy may not be that apt, on a stand alone basis, I see no reason to differ on the content of her argument.Recommend

  • Nandita.

    then I am sure you will not use that example as a justification of a carte Blanche to foreign artistes working in India.

    I wish people would read comments properly before making statements. I did not use Kashyap’s words as a justification. I was exposing his hypocritical words. While he is willing to benefit from a foreign country , he does not want others to do the same. That is hypocritical. I have NOT used his example as a justification. Capiche?

    If I had to justify Rahat Fateh Ali Khan’s presence here I’d say – He’s one of the best singers bollywood’s got. .That one statement alone justifies his presence in India. No industry/ company would let a star performer go.

    There are only a handful of Pakistani singers who work in India and they do so because there is a DEMAND for them. India isn’t doing them any favor. Recommend

  • Nandita.

    My previous comment was for Madame @Gp65Recommend

  • Indian

    @Nandita

    You are a self-proclaimed “exposer of hypocritics”. From what you have shared, I can picture who you are. You have claimed you married an Indian guy who had been living in the US for several years just to get a visa and get a comfortable life.

    You are talking all this because you have a computer and don’t have any better work to do.

    I have serious issues with the way you seem to argue. Why are you indulging in personal attacks against this Kashyap guy? If you have an issue with the logic, please fight the logic not pull down the guy. What right do you have to comment about his salary, his preferences etc…??

    It was a serious editorial slip to have given out the identity of the commentators.

    There are atleast 3 other people who have expressed their views on this topic but their college or affiliations have not been mentioned. If this is not attention-grabbing, then what is?

    This was very poor standards of journalism which was attempted at pulling a guy down for who he is rather than what he saying.

    You, by virtue of your comments and taking the bait of the editor, has proven yourself to be a hypocrite of the highest order. You can’t mentally separate the issue from the person.

    You mention the fact that he is from Harvard multiple times. What if it was an editorial mistake and he was infact from Hobart? All your arguments fall flat?? Hypocrite!!

    You have similar issues with Milind too. What’s your problem?Recommend

  • gp65

    @Nandita.:
    You assume that I wrote without understanding what you said. Unsure how you came to that conclusion. With regards to Kashyap, I already explained that there was no double standard since he is paying full price for his education and is not guaranteed an H1B visa so he may not actually get any economic benefit from US. He knows that the US government will control intake for work visa and expects his own government to do the same – absolutely no double standards there. Until your last post where you said RFAK should be hired because he is good, your argument was based precisely on the fact that if US lets Indians in, India should let PAkistanis in for work (using Kashyap as an example of someone that US had let in). I pointed out that US controls the process by which they let people in so that is not a good argument to say India should let people in without suitable controls.

    Separately, if you are aware of the citizenship greencard process because your husband had worked in the US before you married him, I am unsure why you had indicated in an earlier post that labour certification was unnecessary for green card or implied that your software engineer cousins had not undergone scrutiny while job hopping.

    As a listener, I want to listen to the best singer and I agree RFAK is one of the best but the question is of balancing the listener’s interest with the interest of other Indian singers. Even in US there is a demand from corporates for high skilled foreigners (because t helps to keep wages down for a high skilled area) but yet government monitors to create a balance between need of corporate with need of corporate job seekers.

    I have never indicated that anyone was doing a favour to anyone else. It is a more of balancing a competing set of interests.
    Since I am polite when I write to you would appreciate if you can reciprocate the same instead of using a condescending tone.Recommend

  • Nandita.

    @gp65:

    he may not actually get any economic benefit from US

    yES, he will. He has a degree from Harvard. He may have had to shell out a lot of money but the returns will be far greater. So he is going to benefit from a foreign degree. ( refer to earlier comment about global rankings. The avg salary of a passout from harvard business school is much higher than pass outs from the IIM’s ) He’s benefiting from something a foregin country is offering so why does he have a problem if pakistani singers benefit from something India has to offer?

    With regards to Kashyap, I already explained that there was no double standard

    Since you are not an authority to decide what is or isn’t hypocritical- It doesn’t matter to me what you think. I think he is being hypocritical. End of story. In my opinion, he is being hypocritical because he wants to benefit from a foreign degree but doesn’t want a handful of singers to benefit from practicing their craft abroad. I think it is hypocritical irrespective of what you say. You are entitled to your opinion, i am entitled to mine.

    am unsure why you had indicated in an earlier post that labour certification was unnecessary for green card or implied that your software engineer cousins had not undergone scrutiny while job hopping.

    Because they hadn’t. I have friends who haven’t undergone this scrutiny as well while job hopping. My husband told me my sister in law needed the labour certification during her visa but not later on. She’s been in the states since the 90s, I’d rather believe what they tell me than go by what people here say.

    your argument was based precisely on the fact that if US lets Indians in, India should let PAkistanis in for work (using Kashyap as an example of someone that US had let in)

    NO , my argument was never based on kashyap’s example. Perhaps, you ought to read my comments again. I was merely exposing his hypocritical words.

    but the question is of balancing the listener’s interest with the interest of other Indian singers.

    To the best of my knowledge, there’s enough room for everyone to create music and a fan base. RFAK will remain here till there’s a demand for him. The demand will not subside because he’s one of the best out there.

    It is a more of balancing a competing set of interests.

    How many Pakistani singers are present in India ? You’re making it sound like there are hundreds or thousands of them. I could probably count the number of Pakistani singers in India on my fingertips. US might control processes while letting people in because there are MILLIONS of indians and millions of people from other countries who enter their shores.India does the same too esp when pakistanis are concerned.

    instead of using a condescending tone

    Huh? What? Please continue misunderstanding my words and tone and whatever else you want to. Would be great if we stop commenting here and begin arguing on some other blog and another topic.Recommend

  • Nandita.

    Until your last post where you said RFAK should be hired because he is good, your argument was based precisely on the fact that if US lets Indians in, India should let PAkistanis in for work (using Kashyap as an example of someone that US had let in).

    Madame gp65 jeee , did you read a much earlier post where I specifically said –

    I wasn’t using Kashyap’s example as a justification. – I was merely exposing his hypocritical words.

    This was the post where I thanked you for the link of the Pak artists article.

    So I specifically need to spell out the fact that I think RFAK is good ? Isn’t it implied ? You had anyways assumed that I think RFAK is good because one of your first posts to me started like this –

    ‘ I enjoy Ghulam Ali and RFAK too.’ The use of TOO here means you obviously understood that I love listening to RFAK. Since you understand that I like RFAK why should I spell out the obvious again Madame jee ? Recommend

  • BlackJack

    The simple difference between Kashyap and Rahet FA Khan is that Kashyap is buying a service which the US Schools are selling – which is education. They have limited quantities to sell, so they scrutinize applicants to ensure that their final pool is the right one; each Kashyap subsidizes another Jack or Jill, so there is value outside his profile that he brings to the table, which influences his candidacy. RFAK is selling a service which Indian film makers are buying – which is his singing ability/ skill; In both cases, the buyer makes a call on the value of the service and the price he is willing to pay, and if the seller has enough to sell, the deal happens; in both cases, the seller makes money regardless of whether the buyer is able to recoup his value. Saying that Kashyap benefits from his degree and so the equivalence holds is ridiculous because even RFAK benefits – when he sings for a famous movie/ banner or sings a popular number made by an Indian composer, it increases his bargaining power and the price he is able to charge, and I am sure that all the successful Pakistani singers would have upped their price post success. Further, basing the entire example on a Harvard education and its relative rank to IIM A is self-defeating since 99% of the foreign students abroad do not study in Harvard.Recommend

  • Sudheer

    Those who are calling Kashyap an hypocrite for opposing Pak singers’ presence in the Bollywood are forgetting a vital point. Pakistan sends Rahat Fateh Alis to India, fine, but it also sends Ajmal Kasabs. Yes India sends Kashyaps to the US, but, never harmed America or its people in any manner. In fact, millions of Indians, right here in India, are working literally day and night, that too on dirt cheap salaries, to keep afloat thousands of American businesses. But for their hard work, these businesses would’ve downed their shutters long back.
    If anybody thinks that India should thankfully accept both Rahat and Kasab simultaneously, then I would call him/her a traitor of mother India. Shame on them. I can happily live without Rahat Fateh, after all, skies are not going to fall if he stops working for Bollywood, and more importantly, if sending Rahat back to Pakistan helps in anyway in stopping Kasabs entering into India, then, I am wholeheartedly for it.
    All this debate is as simple as this.Recommend