At a time when emotions are sky-high and the people of India question the government over the VVIP treatment meted out to Ajmal Kasab, a show like ‘Sur Kshetra’ does little good to the country.
‘Sur Kshetra’, a reality TV show shot in Dubai, plays host to both Indian and Pakistani budding singers who aim for the title of the winner. Atif Aslam and Himesh Reshammiya captain the Pakistani and the Indian teams respectively and are both looking forward to having an upper hand in the contest.
The show has been in news since its inception stage and had recently made headlines when MNS chief Raj Thackeray objected to its airing. A screening was organised for Thackeray and the show was subsequently shown the green signal by the politician.
Thackeray had initially raised objections to having participants from across the border, for he believed that Pakistan has never returned favours to India. Salman Khan’s EID release ‘Ek Tha Tiger’ was banned in Pakistan and Indian artistes are seldom sanctioned visa to perform across the border.
I couldn’t agree with Thackeray more on this as I believed he sought a very valid answer. And when I tweeted my heart out regarding the same, a few of my followers asked me if I was a religious extremist, who showed no mercy to artistes.
I agree artistes do not understand the barrier of religion. They are grades above such discrimination. But shouldn’t they too be governed by the feelings of respect towards their country?
Filmmaker Mahesh Bhatt has been instrumental in making Bollywood a platform for a number of artists from across the border. And his protégés have been minting not just money, but fame and name too, courtesy their jobs in India. The Atif Aslams, Rahat Fateh Ali Khans, Shafqat Amanat Alis and many more have been making big fat money here in the country. And many would continue to do so in future as well, thanks to India’s ‘Atithi Devo Bhava’ principle!
The opening episode of the show saw Himesh Reshammiya gearing up for a fiery contest with his Pakistani counterpart, Atif Aslam. A sense of rage seemed to hang heavily in the air, and was instrumental in building curiosity among the viewers over what would unfold next.
The second episode had Pakistani constants being judged by their singing legend Ghulam Ali and singing sensations Sajjad Ali and Hadiqa Kiani. And ‘Indian’ Ayesha Takia relentlessly asking Atif Aslam about the exceptional talent his country produces!
Not that Himesh and the Indian judges- Alka Yagnik, Suresh Wadkar and Ismail Darbar were not appreciating the Indian contestants for their good singing, but the Pakistanis went overboard in expressing awe for their fellow contestants.
Sajjad Ali even went to the extent of saying that no singer can be as versatile as a Pakistani singer. And the kind of talent his country produces is matchless!
It was too much of an exaggeration from their end. Any diehard Indian would have taken offense to it. So did I.
And before people tag me a fanatic and an extremist, I would like to clarify that I am not one. But shouldn’t Pakistan learn how to reciprocate the warmth that we show to them?
Time and again, India has extended a hand of friendship to Pakistan. The new visa pact was signed between the two nations and we know what kind of treatment we have been subjected to in the past- the presence of the Afzal Gurus and the Ajmal Kasabs in the country is self-explanatory!
People who think like artistes and the pseudo-secularists might oppose my view. But I wouldn’t refrain from thinking what my hearts asks me to think. One can talk peace only with those, who equally believe in peaceful co-existence. And hence I feel it is meaningless to try bridging the gap through singing contests.
We, in India, have tried doing all possible things we could to restore peace, but shouldn’t we stop after we have burnt our fingers not once but countless times?