Singer Adnan Sami came back into the limelight a week ago, but for all the wrong reasons. The 44-year-old Britain-born Sami was issued a notice to leave India immediately after his visa expired. The film wing of the extremist Raj Thackeray-led Maharashtra Navnirman Chitrapat Karmachari Sena (MNS) also refused to offer any help.
“We told Sami that our priority would be our artistes,” wing President Amey Khopkar told the Press Trust of India. “We have a lot of talented artistes of our own and do not need Pakistanis to come and sing here. Besides, whatever money he earns here, he probably sends to Pakistan, and that country will be using the same money against us. So, he has to leave the country.” However, it was later revealed that the union home ministry granted Sami a three-month visa extension from October 6, the same day his earlier document had expired.
Despite being of Pakistani origin, Sami has been living in India for several years and has sung a number of Bollywood hits. And even though the authorities told him off and turned their backs on him, he remains loyal to the country. “I have been living here [in India] for the last 14 years. It has been my workplace since then. I have not spent [as much] time anywhere else as I have in India,” said Sami in an interview to IANS. “So, I am attached with this country. It is like a home to me.”
The singer-composer’s last visa was valid from September 26, 2012 to October 6 this year. He applied for an extension on September 14 as per the standard procedure that he had been following for the past several years. Now that his visa has been extended, Sami is overjoyed.
Published in The Express Tribune, October 21st, 2013.
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