Friday, February 25, 2011

Politically incorrect-Lesson from across

LESSON FROM ACROSS

Pakistani singer, that too of the stature of Rahat Fateh Ali Khan, nephew of legendary Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan, was caught smuggling more than a lakh of Dollars at our New Delhi air port. It is indeed sad that these Sufi singers too have stooped so low in life. However, Islamabad was in turmoil immediately and there were hectic diplomatic efforts to get Rahat released immediately. There was tremendous pressure from the Pak government to treat Rahat well. Quite credible that of Islamabad, never mind what their citizen has done, they are there to protect him.

We spread red carpet for Pak artists here in India. They come here at their free will, perform here, make money and are treated like celebrities. Artists like Gulam Ali, Nusrat saab’ Runa Laila, Mehdi Hasan, just to name a few, have earned name and fame in India. Take the case of Adnan Sami, a Pakistani national. He came here, performed, made money and even bought huge properties, which he is not supposed to, being a Pakistani national. Mind you, this is not to demean these artists. All of them are exceptionally talented and it is a privilege to listen to them perform. I am particularly fond of Gulam Ali and his variations. But that is a different issue. Show me a single case of an Indian artist, equally talented, perform, succeed and make it big in Pakistan. Not one, they will not have it.

To come back to the Rahat case, why should he be granted bail? Had one of our artists done that in Pakistan, Islamabad would have never shown any leniency, leave alone grant bail. New Delhi would have taken weeks to react in such a situation where as their reaction was prompt. There is a lesson here to be learnt from across the border.

Finally, is this another kind of anti India activity for Pakistan? Is this money meant for some undesirable organization in Pak? Is this another kind of economic terrorism from across the border? Any thing is possible where Pakistan is concerned. But the moot question is: “Will the Indian government get to the bottom of this?”

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Header image credit: adapted from David Niblack

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