Days after union minister Babul Supriyo demanded that the makers of Welcome To New York remove Rahat Fateh Ali Khan’s song from the movie, the Indian Film and Television Producer Council (IFTPC) mulling that ban on Pakistani artistes may face ban in Bollywood.
IFTPC CEO Suresh Amin, while addressing a press conference in Mumbai on Wednesday (February 21), said the council is currently looking to pass a resolution and inform producers in the Hindi film industry to stop working with Pakistani artistes for the next two years.
Welcome To New York producer Vashu Bhagnani, who was also present at the press conference, said, “Prints have been sent worldwide. I cannot undo it but I assure all of you that my next ventures won’t feature any Pakistani artistes. For me, India comes first.” He added that he will send notices to people in the industry and request them to stop collaborating with Pakistani artistes.
The decision came soon after it was reported that Arijit Singh’s song was allegedly removed by Salman Khan and was later recorded with Rahat’s voice.
However, producer Vashu Bhagnani came to Salman’s rescue and cleared the air. He said that Arijit Singh never sang for Welcome to New York and they roped in Rahat because they felt his voice suited the song perfectly.
The film’s music composer Shamir Tandon had questioned why his song was being targetted when the same Pakistani singer sang Jag Ghoomeya in Sultan, Mere Rashke Qamar in Baadshaho, Sanu Ek Pal Chain in Raid and Atif Aslam’s song Dil Diyan Gallan in Tiger Zinda Hai.
In 2016, a similar ban was imposed on Pakistani artistes by the Raj Thackeray-led Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS) in the wake of Uri terrorist attack that killed 19 Indian soldiers.
Welcome To New York, directed by Chakri Toleti, stars an ensemble cast that includes Sonakshi Sinha, Diljit Dosanjh, Karan Johar, Ritesh Deshmukh, Boman Irani and others.
It released in theatres on February 23.