Books and Documents

Interview (27 Jun 2016 NewAgeIslam.Com)

Amjad Sabri’s Murder a Shame for Pak Authorities … India Best for Artistes – and Muslims … Triple Talaq’s Un-Islamic Patriarchy

By Mohammed Wajihuddin

June 27, 2016


Actor-singer Salma Aagha

Actor-singer Salma Aagha recently got an Overseas Citizen of India (OCI) card. Speaking with Mohammed Wajihuddin, Aagha discussed why, despite being born in Karachi, she wants an Indian identity, why she supports PM Modi and opposes triple Talaq – and why she blames the Pakistani authorities for the shocking murder of Sufi singer Amjad Sabri:

How do you react to Sufi Qawwal Amjad Sabri’s murder in Karachi?

The violent death of Amjad Sabri, an artiste who gave so much to music, is shameful for Pakistan. He memorably sang the famous Qawwali ‘Bhardo Jholi Meri Ya Muhammad, Tere Dar Se Na Jaoonga Khali’ – but what has Pakistan given him? Bullets in his chest.

He was a man who did so much social work for the poor and who reportedly asked for security but was denied it – shame on the Pakistani authorities for treating artistes like this.

Is growing Talibanisation of Pakistani society stunting art and creativity?

It’s been over 15 years since I did a film in Pakistan, so I’ve not really tracked the art scene there.

But one thing is clear – nowhere do art and artistes get so much respect as in India. Here, creative people are worshipped. Bade Ghulam Ali Khan settled here. Ghulam Ali commands so much respect among Indians. Rahat Fatah Ali Khan is much in demand.

This is a country where art is valued – and artistes prosper.

How difficult was securing an Overseas Citizen of India status, given your own Pakistan connection?

Well, if I connect it with the film Nikaah I’m best known for, a Nikaah is better than a live-in relationship. Now, you can say i am officially wedded to India – though India has never been foreign to me.

This gives me hassle-free visits and only cements my bond with India. The bond goes back generations – my maternal grandfather, Jugal Kishore Mehra, who starred in the first Heer Ranjha (1932), had adopted my mother Nasreen. Mehra’s sister was Prithviraj Kapoor’s mother. Both my maternal and paternal grandparents were from Amritsar.

It’s wrong to say i am of Pakistani origin – i was born in Karachi but that happened because at that time, my parents happened to be there.

I hold a British passport – but India has always been a home. Even today, i stay in my mother’s house in Mumbai.

Since I hold a British passport and earned some respect due to my creative work, i received OCI status easily. Many people, including Home Minister Rajnath Singh and MoS (Home) Kiren Rijiju, cooperated.

How do you analyse Narendra Modi’s administration – and talk of intolerance in India?

PM Narendra Modi is leading from the front. He is a leader with immense energy and commitment to his people. My daughter and i heard him speak in Afghanistan and the US Congress – that he’s a brilliant orator was never in doubt but with his recent speeches, he’s proved he believes in inclusion.

My respect for him also grew after i saw the initiatives he’s taken for citizens – especially the Beti Bachao, Beti Padhao campaign.

And India is very tolerant. I have never felt insecure here.

Your admiration may be construed as opportunism – especially from certain Muslims who criticise Modi for not cracking down on Hindutva zealots.

Well, India is the best country on earth for Muslims.

India’s multiculturalism is the biggest bulwark against communal divides. Muslims in other countries are killing their co-religionists – here, they live in relative harmony. There is hardly any Shia-Sunni rioting in India.

Muslims must avoid confrontations and avail the opportunities which are there for those who grab them.

One confrontation is the current debate on triple Talaq, an issue highlighted in your 1982 movie Nikaah – is it time to now stop instant divorce?

Nikaah was a path-breaking film, much ahead of its time – cases were filed and attempts made to stall its release. Director B R Chopra had to change its original title Talaq, Talaq, Talaq under pressure from Muslim outfits.

Triple Talaq is un-Islamic in that it’s not sanctioned by the Quran – it’s a way to perpetuate patriarchy where men want to control women.

I’ve personally suffered divorce and know how painful it is. I often think, if my religion gives so much dignity to women, why do men deny women their rights?

Men have made their own rules – and pass them off as God-given.

Source: timesofindia.indiatimes.com/the-interviews-blog/amjad-sabris-murder-a-shame-for-pak-authorities-india-best-for-artistes-and-muslims-triple-talaqs-un-islamic-patriarchy/

URL: http://www.newageislam.com/interview/mohammed-wajihuddin/amjad-sabri’s-murder-a-shame-for-pak-authorities-…-india-best-for-artistes-–-and-muslims-…-triple-talaq’s-un-islamic-patriarchy/d/107777


Compose Your Comments here:
Email (Not to be published)
Fill the text
Disclaimer: The opinions expressed in the articles and comments are the opinions of the authors and do not necessarily reflect that of NewAgeIslam.com.