Musicians and singers speak to Monarose Sheila Pereira about banning Pakistani artists
Anup Jalota, singer
Yes Pakistani artists should appeal to Pakistan Government to stop exporting terrorists to India if they want to work in India. Art connections will not work anymore. Recently in Pakistan one top qawwali Sufi singer was killed by some terror group. Now peace can be brought only by replying in the same manner. If they can kill musicians in their own country there is no way that music and art can contribute in bringing peace any more.
Rajeshh Thaker, Hawaiian guitarist
India has always stood for universal love, brotherhood and respect to human rights. I'm proud to be an Indian and My Country for me is far more important than my professional interests and pursuits. We as a Nation will not tolerate forces like terrorism that encourage violation of human rights. We will certainly not tolerate brutalities against our homeland. After the Uri incident where the Indian peace keepers were brutally massacred, we as Indians have one stand-Any activity that poses to be a threat to national security will be dealt-with firmly. Any Nation which has strings attached to terrorism shall be shunned. Mera Bharat Mahan.
Singer Anu Mallik, music director andsinger
I appreciate their artists but as long as our people are fighting and dying because of Pakistan I think we should not allow their artists to perform in India. Their artists must speak to their authorities and bring about peace between the two countries.
Sheldon D'Silva, Bass Guitarist and Music Producer
Why ban just Pakistani artists, why not ban people from every country that has sponsored terrorism then to be fair? We surely can't believe that all other countries are innocent and have no hand in creating and funding the terrorist camps in Pakistan. In the words of Christ, let the one without sin cast the first stone. Artists, in fact as a community are known to peacefully bridge cultural differences between countries through a harmonious interchange and that is most needed to work towards a peaceful world especially in difficult times. How does one bad seed define the fate of everyone and frankly isn't our perception of everything we factually believe, a second hand interpretation of the media? I think it is important to do what is right and not what feels like a temporary sense of patriotism. Artists are a small and most unnecessary target in this equation. Will banning them solve any real issues or prevent terrorism should be the question?
Suketu Radia, DJ and music producer
According to me, right now we should keep everything aside and just think of the soldiers fighting to keep our country safe. Do whatever we can to show them that v r aware of the sacrifices they and their families are making for us and that v truly appreciate it and that v have utmost respect for them. The rest can wait and is unimportant.
Prince Thomas Mangan, bass player
An artist is one who masters a form of art and it is science to create a message for ones audience. In times of trouble it is the art fraternity and the art industry of all commercial art forms, who are responsible for what the country wants to feel like. Because art wraps the message with emotions and emotions are powerful beyond measure. It's the only thing that's uniquely human. It's the only thing that makes more sense to humans than manmade linguistics. We as #boysfromsouthpark think that the message should be about peace but the message should also speak about the unjustness of terrorism and the counter control through diplomacy and through economic and educational reforms in Pakistan. We as Indians are better than them but we don't need to bully them to fix things. Indians are much better than that. Pakistani artist should spread the message of peace. If not for themselves then for their countrymen, but they must raise their voice for a noble message. Because the world is listening to them right now. Besides think of all the money they can make by selling their art for a noble cause. Don't judge us we know Bollywood likes to make tons of money.
Pratika Prabhune, vocalist.
If artists should be banned shouldn't even be a question that anyone should ask. Art and Politics do not go hand in hand. The conflict between two countries should never stand in the way of art, especially because artists stand independent and any form of art only communicates the true emotion that arises from situations in our state of living today. Music is a language in itself, and if anything, music only makes an artist rightly phrase what situation inflicts on an individual or society at the most. Musicians are not fighting here. Making artists retreat only creates more of a divide when even musicians who do not support the conflict of nations are pulled up or sent back for no fault of their own. Our dispute with Pakistan is age-old but for someone who practices an art form whose primary objective isn't stirring up hatred in this particular issue, it's not fair.
Roshan Bhat, singer, songwriter and musician
Pakistani artists are not terrorists. They have every right to come to India, perform here and take back home load full of respect/accolades/awards. But not when we cannot decipher their silence when it comes to debating about Pakistan's role in supporting terrorism in their country. The ignorance of not supporting India in times like these shows it all. India has shown so much of love and support to them. But this love is just one sided? An artist represents freedom. A move the artists undertake and portray in the society through their various art forms thus setting an example for humanity to be free, to live without any fear, violence and misery. They must understand that their silence is setting a wrong example for their fans worldwide. If admitting the truth is a problem, then it would be a wrong example being set in the society.
By Monarose Sheila Pereira