Singer-actor Diljit Dosanjh has ‘postponed’ his performance in the US, scheduled to take place on Sept 21, after the Federation of Western India Cine Employees (FWICE), an Indian film body, requested the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) to cancel his visa.
The concert is said to have been promoted by a Pakistan national Rehan Siddiqui.
The Udta Punjab actor had been told to “cancel his commitment in the interest, sentiments, and dignity of the nation”.
In a Twitter post, Dosanjh said that he is postponing the performance at this time. He also said that he was not performing in a tour promoted by a Pakistan national as his contract was with a company called Shri Balaji Entertainment.
— DILJIT DOSANJH (@diljitdosanjh) September 11, 2019
“Regarding Houston concert on Sep 21, I have just become aware of a letter issued by the Federation of Western India Cine Employees (FWICE) to me by an article published in the Mumbai Mirror today, I was not aware of any such intimation by the Federation before today,” he wrote.
“However in lieu of the letter by the FWICE I have decided to postpone my Houston show at this time. I love my country and will always stand for the greater interest of the Nation INDIA Always,” he concluded.
Ashoke Pandit, chief advisor of FWICE lauded Diljit for his decision and wrote, “FWICE really appreciates this stand of @diljitdosanjh. This kind of a stand sends a strong message that for Indians country comes first irrespective of prejudices and choices. You have set a precedence for the future.”
FWICE really appreciates this stand of @diljitdosanjh . This kind of a stand sends a strong message that for Indians country comes first irrespective of prejudices and choices. You have set a precendence for the future. https://t.co/6LgudWLwt7
— Ashoke Pandit (@ashokepandit) September 11, 2019
Earlier, in a letter written to the MEA, the film body stated, “We have come to know that the performing singer and actor from Punjab Diljit Dosanjh has accepted the invitation of Rehan Siddiqi for staging his performance at the United States on September 21, 2019.”
The film body added that Diljit is a “thorough gentleman” and “superb singer-actor” but has been “allured” by Siddiqi and his performance will set a “wrong precedent” in the wake of the current situation between the two countries. “Mr. Dosanjh is a thorough gentleman and a superb singer/actor but he has been allured by the Pak National, Mr. Rehan Siddiqi,” FWICE stated.
“His performance for the Pak National and people will set a wrong precedent in view of the current alarming situation between the two countries,” the film body added in the letter. FWICE requested for the visa cancellation of the actor and his group to restrain their performance as it will be labeled as “anti-national.”
“It is, therefore, our humble request to you to cancel the visa of Mr. Diljit Dosanjh and his troupe or the application for [a] visa be not granted to restrain their performance in America as it will be labeled anti-national,” the film body said.
Earlier, another Indian singer Mika Singh found himself in hot waters after his performance at a wedding in Karachi sparked outrage in his native country. He was, subsequently, banned by the All India Cine Workers Association (AICWA).