By now, most of us are familiar with how Adnan Siddiqui started a debate over various renditions of the national anthem. In case you missed it, the actor took to his Instagram to ask if it is appropriate to take creative liberties with our national anthem, and needless to say, he received interesting responses.
To be more specific, Siddiqui was referring to a version of the national anthem performed at this year’s Lux Style Awards by Shehzad Roy and Wahab Bugti. The actor was not in favor of the creative liberties taken with the composition and expressed that in his post.
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Soon after, Sajal Aly chimed in with her opinion, disagreeing with Siddiqui. “Pakistan’s diversity makes it beautiful. A rendition of the national anthem that is inclusive of historically marginalised groups is far more patriotic than imposing a rigid and unitary idea of how to show love for our country and its people,” she wrote on her Instagram stories.
She also shared how we need to stop dictating the way people express their patriotism, which doesn’t come in a one-size-fits-all ideology. “Let us stop policing how we express our patriotism: our Constitution celebrates the many ethnicities, languages and cultures that exist in the country. When will we do the same?” she added.
Siddiqui was quick to response with what he felt, which was Aly not getting his point. ‘Historically marginalised groups’ can express their patriotic sentiment without meddling with the originality of our national honour. I am not throwing shade on the ‘ethnicity’ of the artist involved or theirs or anyone’s patriotism. My grouse is with the nonchalance and creative over-enthusiasm towards the national anthem. Sajal Aly maybe you’d like to revisit the post because you seem to have missed the point,” he said.
“There is protocol to be followed for national symbols, respect accorded to them so much so that the first alphabet of national symbols are written in upper case. What next because we are creative and should celebrate diversity? Hoist the National Flag upside down and design our own version of the Emblem?” he added.
This debate did not end here. Aly continued with her stance, stressing upon the need for diversity. “As a Pakistani and an artist, I found the diversity of my country reflected in this rendition of the national anthem beautiful. I found it healing. Shehzad Roy and Wahab Bugti broke no law. They breached no protocol. Their rendition reflected the values of our Constitution and remained true to the original anthem. You asked for thoughts These are mine. Feel free to disagree,” she wrote back.
At this point, Siddiqui felt a controversy brewing for which there was no need. “In simple English, I did NOT mention either the artists or their ethnicity. Why stoke unnecessary controversy when there is none? Peace out,” he wrote.
Adding on to the debate, Farhan Saeed also lent his two cents to Siddiqui’s opinion. “Adnan Siddiqui I really respect you and know that you never do anything which in anyway is to hurt someone or just to gain points. You probably felt it. But Khuda ka Wasta [for God’s sake], the last thing we want is to add another thing in ‘not to do’ lists of Pakistan. This is beautiful, enjoy it,” he wrote.
Aijaz Aslam also shared his opinion this Sunday in a tweet. “I think [Adnan Siddiqui] has a valid point in this recent argument. What he actually meant was ‘Not to fix something which is already perfect,” he wrote.
I think @adnanactor has a valid point in this recent argument , what he actually meant was …‘Not to fix something which is already perfect’ . Samajh tou gaye hongay Aap Sab #respect #NationalAnthem #PakistanZindabad
— aijaz aslam (@aijazz7) November 26, 2022
Hot takes by netizens are still pouring in over this debate, where most find Siddiqui in the wrong. While everyone is entitled to their opinion, we feel if anyone especially veterans of the industry are going to take a strong stance on something, why not make it worthwhile and do it over an issue that actually matters? Perhaps, the veterans can question why the industry continues to support and reward problematic people? Just a suggestion.