MUMBAI/ISLAMABAD: Pakistani singer Atif Aslam has been repeatedly dismissing requests to promote his latest song Sehmi Hai Dhadkan from the forthcoming Bollywood film Daas Dev, says its producer Sanjeev Kumar.
“Atif said he will do it, but it hasn’t been done. I’m not sure why he isn’t taking part in the activity, but, as a producer, I see that work promised hasn’t been executed,” Kumar said in a statement.
Sehmi Hai Dhadkan was unveiled on February 22 as the first song from Sudhir Mishra’s film Daas Dev, a contemporary take on Sarat Chandra Chattopadhyay’s novel Devdas.
While Aslam himself has not commented on the issue it is believed that his refusal to promote the song is attributed to the ban on Pakistani artists called on by politician Babul Supriyo last month. Supriyo had also objected to the inclusion of Pakistan singer Rahat Fateh Ali Khan’s voice in the film Welcome To New York.
To this, Kumar said, “Normally, such statements are made by fringe groups. When a minister says it, it leaves an impact on more people. But we needed Atif for this song. He has 20 million followers on social media. Imagine the kind of traction we would have got had he promoted it.”
Daas Dev stars Richa Chadha, Aditi Rao Hydari and Rahul Bhat. It is scheduled to hit the screens on March 23.
Pakistan criticised India for ‘anti-Pakistan prejudice’ as the Indian Motion Pictures Producers Association (IMPPA) upheld its ban on Pakistani performing artistes.
“It is unfortunate that art and cinema, which bring people together by acting as cultural bridges, are being held hostage to hate and xenophobia,” Foreign Office spokesperson Muhammad Faisal said.
“Unfortunately this decision, following several others, including non-issuance of visas to Pakistani pilgrims, refusal to allow participation of Sikhs and Katas Raj pilgrims, and cancellation of sports matches, underscores the growing intolerance and bias prevalent in India,” Faisal said.
The decisions taken and/or upheld by the Indian government “expose it of (becoming) a sham-ocracy”, the spokesperson remarked.