12 December, New Delhi
Amidst the clamour over the rising intolerance in the country, famous Pakistani singer Adnan Sami, who requested to stay in India on humanitarian grounds earlier this year, says that he wouldn’t have sought Indian citizenship if there was such an issue.
“If there was intolerance in the country, would I have asked for citizenship in the country? I believe actions speak louder than words,” Sami said at a session of Agenda Aaj Tak here on Saturday.
Sami was granted permission to stay in India in August. The singer, who came to India on a visitor’s visa, had been staying in the country since March 2001.
The “Bhar do jholi meri” hitmaker also expressed his opinion about the controversy surrounding the cancellation of popular Pakistani ghazal singer Ghulam Ali’s performances in Mumbai and Pune due to protests by the Shiv Sena.
“Yes, he should perform. Everybody should perform. Music does not have colour or religion. If I listen to a song, I don’t care about the colour, religion or country of the singer. It doesn’t matter even if it is in another language because I love the music,” he said.
“If Michael Jackson recorded his music in Los Angeles or London, how does it matter? It (the music) reached me, I like it and that’s it. If the music touches you, then it shouldn’t matter,” he added.
When asked about his role in fostering India-Pakistan relations, Sami said that as a singer, his “job is to create music and harmony”.
“I am a singer, my job is to create music and harmony. Wherever I see harmony, I would go towards there. There is nothing more beautiful for a musician to listen and see harmony. And if such a thing can happen, I like more than a billion people here would love it,” he added.
As far as the controversy over the India and Pakistan cricket series is concerned, the singer said: “Yes, cricket should be played. Nothing will happen out of that, but why not. Let’s get real. It will happen one day, but in the meanwhile let’s play cricket. Let’s play ball, at least somewhere.”
The singer, who shot to mainstream popularity in India with hit songs like “Kabhi to nazar milao” and “Lift karaa de”, says that the love he has received from the citizens here is “everything” for him.
“When my first album came out, it wasn’t Bollywood. The love that I received from people was everything and it still is everything for me. After 16 years, it is not just the land where I work, but also my home and my love,” Sami said.
“Today, I feel proud when a good thing happens in the country. If there is a new airport in Mumbai, I would feel proud about it, and I equally feel angry when I see potholes,” he added.