Mumbai: Bigg Boss 11 winner Shilpa Shinde has come out in support of singer Mika Singh, who was banned from performing in India by at least two showbiz bodies until he apologised for performing in Pakistan.“Artists ki koi sarhad nahin hoti. I completely support Mika Singh. It’s really sad how he has been pressured into apologising. Has he committed a crime? He is an artist who can perform anywhere. No one can be stopped from earning his/ her bread and butter. If, today, actors like Hrithik Roshan, Salman Khan, Shah Rukh Khan… or singers like Mika… don’t perform in Pakistan, will that stop the war and terrorism?” she tells us over the phone.
In case you need a low down on the episode, here’s what happened: Mika faced severe backlash when he performed in Pakistan soon after abrogation of Article 370. He was banned from working in India by All Indian Cine Workers Association and Federation of Western India Cine Employees. Later, he apologised to both the bodies and Indians.
Now, Shilpa has extended support to Mika through a video tweeted by her brother, Ashutosh Shinde. The Bigg Boss 11 winner says she also wants issues between India and Pakistan resolved, but believes that “banning artists won’t help” anyone.
“As I said, if I get an invite from Pakistan to perform there, if our government clears the papers, I’ll perform there. I’ve fans there, what is their fault? I understand the ban on Pakistani artists performing here because we already have so much talent in India. But that does not mean we’ll stop listening to Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan. Being born in Pakistan can’t be his fault,” she says.
“Main bhi Hindustani hoon. I’m no less a patriot. Indians are known for being liberal, loving. So if Pakistan is doing certain things which aren’t right, should we not avoid repeating the same and set an example. Mein darr ke nahi ji sakti… Also, why aren’t these associations whose job is to support artists, with Mika rather being against him,” adds the 41-year-old.
“I had faced a similar ban earlier, and I went through hell, so I feel for him,” says Shilpa, who had alleged that Cine and TV Artistes Association had banned her after Bhabhi Ji Ghar Pe Hai! controversy, although the association later denied it.