Indian until proven guilty: Adnan Sami can't buy his way out

As sad as it is to watch your assets taken away and be called an alien the fact is you are not an Indian yet, Adnan!

Rimla Batool January 03, 2011
You know him for his many marriages, including the one with Pakistani female actor Zeba Bakhtiyar. You know him for skipping Pakistan, going over to India and rocking the Indian entertainment industry with his music to the extent that an article in Times of India termed him as “the most successful; face in non—film music in India” in 2002.

You also know him for his miraculous weight loss of 107kg within a year.

And now, you will know him for being in legal trouble for owning eight flats and five car parking spaces in Mumbai.

According to a notice issued by the enforcement directorate, Adnan Sami’s property is to be confiscated as he has violated Foreign Exchange Management regulations by acquiring assets without approval of the Reserve Bank of India (RBI). RBI had denied his request to own property in Mumbai, as he is a foreign national, i.e. a Pakistani.

Sami has held the builder and the RBI responsible for not communicating to him his request’s rejection by the bank. But, are not you supposed to run a check on the request’s status at the bank before getting involved in matters highly dependent on its approval? I’m just saying.

And if there was ignorance or misinformation involved from either parties of the deal, how did the property get officially registered in Sami’s name?  Were there no investigations regarding his background, prior to the registration by the stamp office?  Why did the concerned departments take six years to take action against him? These questions spring up in one’s mind at once!

Living there on a business visa, he has given the Indian music industry super hit albums, sold millions of copies (the prices of which include the sales tax that goes to the state of India) and he has paid his taxes. With all of his contribution to the Indian economy, he still cannot hold property in the land he has been living in for twelve years.

It is worth mentioning that during his stay, Sami has made multiple attempts to gain Indian nationality but has been denied each time.

In a recent interview, Sami reacts to the legal notice by asking:
“How long will I continue to be considered a non-Indian when I’ve made India my home?”

As sad as it is to watch your hard earned assets being taken away and being called an alien, the fact is  - you are not an Indian yet Adnan! And you have (knowingly or unknowingly) violated the law.
Rimla Batool A media student at Kinnaird College in Lahore. She aims to work in the print media after completion her education.
The views expressed by the writer and the reader comments do not necassarily reflect the views and policies of the Express Tribune.

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