After the Mumbai terror attack, there is a huge debate on whether to allow Pakistani musicians to perform in India.. India (Bollywood) has always provided the platform for many upcoming/established singers from Pakistan but because of these tensions between the countries, the music industry is also getting affected..

Ghazal maestro Ghulam Ali’s multi-city tour this month was abruptly cancelled leaving the musician, who has been to India repeatedly, dazed and hurt.

But the ban-the-Pakistanis brigade is relentless. Some feel this is just a ploy by an under-employed lazy brood of Bolly entertainers to gain advantage in a market that’s fuelled by talent regardless of where it comes from.

Here are the mixed reactions from all the musicians..

Sunidhi Chauhan: No comments

Shekhar (Vishal-Shekhar): Instead of wasting time banning Pakistani musicians, we should look to improving the conditions for our own musicians. Musicians are musicians. Whether they’re Indian, Pakistani or British doesn’t matter. It would be really stupid to ban Pakistani singers from performing in India. Just as Indian artistes cannot be blamed for terrorism in Pakistan, Pakistani artistes cannot be blamed for terrorism in India.

Babul Supriyo: We artistes regardless of our nationality are for the people, by the people, and of the people. Our audience likes a few Pakistani artistes and made them overnight stars, much bigger than in their own country. I guess that’s why our entrepreneurs felt inclined to use their talent. We can’t blame music companies alone for promoting Pakistanis. We have to assume collective responsibility for it. Let’s have a concert of Pakistani musicians and singers and throw it open to the Indian audience. Banning is not a solution.

Alka Yagnik: No, the artiste in me says that it’s not right to ban a great artiste like Ghulam Ali on the basis of his qaum.

Shaan: A ban is harsh and against the creative tenets of music. Proper paper work and a work permit visa should be adhered to. Rules will have to be respected by all. Artistes like Ghulam Ali Saab are legends who should be adored and revered.

Adnan Sami: Should America ban Canadian and British musicians? Do we buy music according to caste, creed or nationality or because we love music, per se? We only spread love and harmony through our music. Whatever happened to the belief that music has no boundaries? Instead of wasting time jumping on the ‘banned’-wagon musicians should just concentrate on creating good music. And by the way, why just Pakistani musicians? Why not ban kebabs and cuisine from across the border?

Farhan Akhtar: It’s not right to ban a musician like Ghulam Ali. He’s an artiste and has nothing to do with what’s happening. Such knee- jerk reactions are detrimental to the future.”

Aadesh Shrivastava: I’ve no objection to Pakistani arti-stes coming to India. But they should be worth it. I’m a great fan of Raahat Ali, Abida Parveen and Ghulam Ali Saab and when Ghulam Ali Saab was prevented from coming to Mumbai, I was greatly pained.

However has he bothered to make one statement against the 26/11 attacks? Considering how welcoming we’ve always been, it seems only right for him to speak out against terrorism. We always extend the utmost hospitality to Pakistani artistes. But they should learn to appreciate what we do for them.

So many musicians and comedians were nobodies back home. We made them celebrities in Mumbai. Who knew Adnan Sami before he came to Mumbai? All I say is, when they come here they must have the proper respect for our hospitality and work permits.

When I recorded in the US with Wyclef Jean, I not only had the relevant papers I also paid taxes over there. Do the Pakistani artistes in India follow these basic rules?

Pritam Chakraborty: No, musicians from Pakistan should not be banned in our country. I am both angry and sad for the 26/11 attack and upset that the whole thing originated on Pakistani soil. But that’s politics and has nothing to do with music.

Gulzar: Let’s not make a larger issue of a very specific and critical situation. Mumbai has been through a trauma. And there was no need for Ghulam Ali Saab to choose this time to perform in Mumbai and other cities in India. This is no time for events and celebrations. He’s a regular visitor to our country and more than welcome during normal times.

Kumar Sanu: The Pakistani musicians are getting their name and fame in India. While the Pakistan’s government allows their musicians to come to India, our musicians are not allowed to go there. We must stop them.

Abhijeet Sawant: Why shouldn’t we ban Pakistani musicians? We all respect the Pakistani people but we need to protest against their government. We can’t do anything that would have a negative impact on our country. We respect them. But not more than our own country. I don’t think we should show any Pakistani on Indian television.

Mahesh Bhatt

Severing all ties with Pakistan is exactly what the terrorist intended. If relationship between India and Pakistan withers then this region will slip into chaos. We need to help the civilian government of Pakistan to fight their own homegrown terror outfits. Either we both make it through this fire or we both burn in it.

Aneek Dhar (Winner Sa Re Ga Ma Pa Challenge 2007)

It does hurt when we shower so much love on Pakistani artistes but their people carry out violence against us. Pakistanis are sought after by music directors and production companies in India. It will be sad if Rahat Fateh Ali Khan can’t perform here.

You can’t put an end to terrorism by banning Pakistani artistes in India. The only way they can be eliminated is through bullets. Every citizen should be given ammunition to guard themselves against these terrorists.

So, what is your take on this??? My idea is that music is an independent entity and borders should never be drawn between musicians…

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