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Indian Singer Diljit Dosanjh Postpones US Gig Organised By Pakistani National

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Indian singer Diljit Dosanjh has postponed his US visit after FWICE, a film industry workers’ union in Mumbai, pressurized him to cancel his appearance in Texas because the event was promoted by a Pakistani national, Rehan Siddiqui.

Amid Indo-Pak tensions, Federation of Western India Cine Employees (FWICE) considered it within the ‘interests, sentiments and dignity of the nation’ for Dosanjh to postpone his upcoming show on 21st September.

Affirming the dangerously risen animosity on both sides of the border, the union further issued that they have ‘zero tolerance for such performers and condemn it as anti-national and unpatriotic bordering to treason with your own country’.FWICE further requested the Ministry of External Affairs to cancel Dosanjh and his troupe’s visas if they refuse to comply with the ‘request’.

Issuing such statements is dangerous and unfair. It’s unfair because of the exclusive monetary loss being incurred by the actor-singer. This monetary loss doesn’t practically advantage or disadvantage Pakistan or India, and it’s unfair to demand Dosanjh to unnecessarily sacrifice an achievement that he had worked hard towards. Furthermore, it’s dangerous because it targets national sentiments against individuals, exposing them to hateful threats. This social media call out is especially dangerous since Dosanjh is a Sikh, and thus a minority within India. His security is comparatively more at risk since it’s easier for Indians to view him as an outsider, and thus be more suspicious and judgmental towards him.

Within this context, it’s no surprise that Dosanjh enthusiastically agreed to postpone his performance. The Udta Punjab actor tweeted his response to this controversial request:

FWICE’s chief advisor, Ashoke Pandit appreciated Dosanjh’s response, pointing out that it sets an admirable precedent for the other Indian actors and singers i.e. Saif Ali Khan and Shreya Goshal collaborating with the Pakistani national Mr. Rehan Siddiqi. Therefore, the safe space provided by art is at risk, once again, because of the rising tensions between Pakistan and India.

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