Singer-songwriter Atif Aslam has drawn speculations over his latest single called ‘Pehli Dafa’ which is accompanied by a music video that features Bollywood actress Illeana D’Cruz. Shot in a foreign locale and with Shiraz Uppal serving as music director, the song sadly doesn’t live up to expectations.
Soulfully melodic, it tries to stand at power with best of Aslam and Uppal’s earlier collaborations such as ‘Hona Tha Pyar’ from Bol or ‘Tajdar-e-Haram’ from Coke Studio. But none of this matters to Atif Aslam fans who have embraced the song. And while Aslam fans rejoice over this song and the news that Aslam (along with Rahat Fateh Ali Khan and Qurutulain Balouch) has landed a Filmfare nomination for best playback singer, India’s nationalist ruling party, BJP, is not happy.
A BJP spokesperson, Shaina NC, condemning the project backer, T-Series, said on the issue: “Why does our entertainment industry need to go there for talent when relations between the two countries have hit the lowest ebb? Are we so short of talent ourselves? I see no point in hurting sentiments.”
BJP is not just irritated by this song. Earlier in the week, they also showcased dismay over Pakistani artists landing Filmfare nods.
“Relations with Pakistan have deteriorated to such an extent that there is a move now to declare Pakistan a terror state on an international level. Given the current crisis, I don’t think we can have Pakistani artistes coming here,” said the same BJP spokesperson.
Also adding fuel to fire is Shiv Sena who have threatened to stall the release of Shah Rukh Khan-Mahira Khan starrer Raees and the Raj Thackeray led MNS, who backed a ban on Pakistani artists after cross border skirmishes began with Uri last year.