The unsavoury face of inhospitality has once again reared its ugly head in India, with Atif Aslam's Bollywood comeback as the target this time around.
According to several Indian media outlets, the Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS), under the leadership of Raj Thackeray, has cautioned Bollywood producers against welcoming the celebrated Pakistani singer for his reported return to Hindi films.
Ameya Khopkar, the President of MNS Cinema Wing, emphasised that individuals intending to include Aslam in their projects based on a court ruling must be reminded of their position and reconsider their decisions.
“Pakistani artists will not be tolerated here. Never. It is unfortunate that we need to repeat ourselves, yet let me make it clear once again,” he stated bluntly.
Reiterating the party's firm stance against the inclusion of Pakistani artists in Indian projects, Khopar further stated, “This was and will remain the stand of MNS. Not just Bollywood.
I challenge the industries of any language in India to have any Pakistani artists in their projects. Word of caution: DO NOT make the mistake of accepting this challenge."
Khopkar, known for opposing the release of the Pakistani film The Legend of Maula Jatt in December 2022, also directed criticism towards singer Arijit Singh, who is reportedly supporting Aslam.
The MNS leader challenged industries across India to refrain from involving Pakistani artists, warning against accepting this challenge.
This comes in light of reports suggesting that Aslam has been selected to compose the music for the film Love Story of 90s. The upcoming movie is being produced by Sangani Brothers Motion Pictures, with Haresh Sangani and Dharmesh Sangani as producers. The film, directed by Amit Kasaria, features Adhyayan Suman alongside Miss Universe Diva, Divita Rai.
In an official statement, Haresh Sangani and Dharmesh Sangani, producers and distributors, expressed their joy at Aslam's return after a hiatus of seven years.
They expressed their excitement, stating that Aslam has lent his voice to the initial song of their film. The producers anticipated great enthusiasm from the singer's fans and proudly announced his Bollywood comeback through their movie.