Ahead of his concert in Houston this month, Mika Singh posted a video on Facebook urging his fans in the American city to join in celebrating the independence days of India and ‘Apna Pakistan’ which drew backlash from Indian Americans.
Singh, a popular Indian singer and performer scheduled to perform in Houston on August 12, posted a video asking his fans from India and Pakistan to join the celebration. In the video, he was seen in the company of a local Pakistani-origin promoter of his show.
The video was criticized by a large number of Indian Americans who called it a ‘cruel joke’ in the wake of the ceasefire violations by Pakistan on the Line of Control (LoC) earlier this year in which Indian soldiers were killed.
“Celebrating India’s Independence Day is for those who believe in India and its freedom and democracy […] It can never happen with Pakistan, and not when they are sponsoring and supporting Pakistani terrorist on the Indian soil,” Ramesh Shah, a prominent Indian-American philanthropist and the winner of the 2017 Pravasi Bhartiya Samman Award, told PTI.
The ill-timing of the video is the primary reason for outrage amongst the Indian-Americans.
“It would not have been an issue had the artiste been performing for a regular concert. But emphasizing it as a celebration of Pakistan Independence Day and saying on his viral video ‘Apna Pakistan’ is unforgivable and unfortunate,” said Swapan Dhairyawan, a community activist and former president of the India Culture Centre.
Demand for Cancellation of the Concert
Some of them who were ‘deeply hurt’ by Singh’s comments are asking him to cancel his upcoming concert in Houston. “We have a strained relationship (with Pakistan) […] If he has any sense of patriotism, he should cancel this concert. Money is not everything in life. Country comes first always.”