New Delhi, Oct 12 (IANS) As Mumbai witnessed ugly scenes on Monday over the launch of former Pakistani foreign minister Khurshid Mahmud Kasuri, Pakistani classical music singer Javed Bashir said that stopping artists from his from performing in India is no solution to ease the tension between the two countries.
Talking to IANS over phone from Mumbai, Bashir, a familiar voice in Bollywood, said that only artists can bring peace between the two countries. “Music has no religion and only artists can bring peace and harmony between the two countries,” said Bashir, who has been visiting India since 2003. “I have performed in Mumbai four times in the past 12 years, but now I think it’s not the right situation,” he added.
Bashir is in India to perform in a concert called “Music for Peace” organised by the group ‘Routes2Roots. The concert is scheduled for October 18 in Delhi.
Terming the cancellation of legendary Pakistani ghazal singer Gulam Ali’s concert in Mumbai as unfortunate, the singer said that it’s a huge loss for maestro’s Indian fans. “Gulam Ali has been performing in in India for the last many years and it’s unfortunate that his concert had to be cancelled. India has given him lot of love and adulation. The cancellation of his show was a loss for his fans here,” said the singer.
The singer, who has collaborated with Shankar Mahadevan for a song on Indo- Pak relations, also has popular songs like ‘Ye Tune Kya Kiya’ from “Once Upon A Time In Mumbai Dobaara” and “Mera Yaar” from “Bhaag Milkha Bhaag” to his credit. His popular number “Piya Tu Kaahe Rootha Re” from the movie “Kahaani” has given him a special place in Bollywood.
“I have good friends in the music industry like Shankar Mahadevan and Hariharan, among many others. India has always loved my music and I am grateful for that. It had only made me more popular in Pakistan,” he said.
Terming India as his second home, Bashir said that his parents hail from Jalandhar.
“I was born in Pakistan, so its my first home. However, India is my second home,” he said, adding that he is not scared of performing in Delhi as his organisers have assured him of a peaceful atmosphere. However, the artist said that he is wary of performing in Mumbai, given the prevailing tension.
The essence of Sufi music is very relevant now, said the singer, as it speaks of God and peace.
(Preetha Nair can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org)