Playback singer backtracks after backlash regarding Pakistan, Indian-Americans also protest

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Mumbai: Singer Mika Singh and Daler Mehndi on the sets of The Kapil Sharma Show in Mumbai, on Nov 15, 2016. (Photo: IANS)

The famous playback singer Mika Singh, scheduled to perform in Chicago and Houston for Independence Day celebrations, backtracked under pressure from political leaders, saying he was not playing for Pakistanis in the U.S., only for Hindustanis. Meanwhile, the community in Chicago held a meeting to discuss the impending visit of the singer who is the latest Bollywood personality to stir up controversy over statements regarding Pakistan.

Singh had earlier said in a promotional video that his performances would be held to celebrate India’s Independence Day and Pakistani’s Independence Day which fall Aug. 15 and Aug. 14, respectively. He used the words “Humara Hindustan” and “Humara Pakistan” raising the hackles of some groups which staged protests in India, especially in Maharashtra. Singh reportedly received threats from the Maharashtra Navnirman Sena Cine Workers Association leader Amey Khopkar, Indian media reported. Khopkar was reported in the media saying, “If Mika Singh performs for Pak, will welcome him in MNS style,” India Today reported.

In the U.S., organizations and several Indian-Americans protested Singh’s statements and held meetings to decide on the action to be taken.

The playback singer sent a retraction over social media to clear the air just days before his U.S. appearances.

“People are thinking that I’m going to perform in Chicago and Houston for Pakistanis, which is completely wrong. I’m doing this show only for Hindustanis. I’ll be sending you people videos to prove it,” Singh declared on social media. “I am always proud to be an Indian,” he added.

“I spoke to MNS leader Amey Khopkar over the phone and requested him to not worry. I also assured Raj Thackeray that I will be performing only for India,” Singh said, adding the salutation – ‘Jai Maharashtra’.