BOMBAY: Legendary Indian singer Asha Bhosle, who had been requested by Raj Thackeray-led Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS) not to participate in a musical reality show featuring Pakistani artistes, has sought to play down the issue, saying she only understands the language of music and has nothing to do with politics.
“I don’t like politics…I don’t understand it. I love Raj Thackeray irrespective of what he thinks of me. I love Maharashtra and I am a Maharashtrian,” Bhosle said.
Maharashtra Navnirman Chitrapat Karmachari Sena (MNCKS), the film wing of MNS had requested Bhosle not to judge the show ‘Sur Kshetra’, to be aired on Colors TV, wherein Pakistani singers were also participating. The party has also asked the private channel not to air the programme and threatened to disrupt the shoot if the channel did not comply with their request.
“I am a singer….I understand the language of music and I love Raj and I know he likes my songs,” she said at a press conference organised in connection with the show at a five-star hotel in the suburbs this evening.
Speaking in Marathi, the singer also said, “I am a Maharashtrian. I believe in the motto of ‘athithi devo bhav’ (guest is god). Without naming anyone all I would say – is Jai Maharashtra.”
A police van and over a dozen security personnel were dispatched at the hotel, where the conference was being held, for Bhosle’s security.
Commenting on the threat, Raj Nayak, CEO of Colors TV, said, “I have not received any threats. I request you all to ask questions relating to the show. Will talk about this (threat issue) later.”
Talking to the Press Trust of India earlier in the day, MNCKS head Amey Khopkar said, “we will not allow any shoot of Colors if they go ahead, and ban products of the programme sponsors.”
Khopkar added that he has written a letter to Bhosle asking her to not to take part in the programme. “We have also asked Colors not to invite Pakistani singers and warned the channel of consequences if it airs the programme with these guest artistes.”
Previously, some Pakistani comedians taking part in an Indian comedy programme too had come under verbal threats and physical attack while performing in India.