Former Bollywood singer and union minister Babul Supriyo had demanded that there should be a blanket ban on Pakistani artists in Bollywood, asking the makers of upcoming film, Welcome to New York, to re-record a song sung by Rahat Fateh Ali Khan with an Indian singer. Since then, speculation has been rife that Rahat’s voice might have been used to replace Arijit’s voice in a song from the film. However, an Indian Express report claims Arijit never recorded any song for the multi-starrer movie.
Supriyo had said he is not able to comprehend the need or desire to cross the border for entertainment content at a time when tensions on the India-Pakistan border have escalated. “If that’s true, I would request the makers of the film to remove Rahat’s voice and get someone else to dub it! I am also not sure why Atif Aslam got to sing Dil Diya Gallan when for sure our very own Arijit could have done a much better job. The FM stations played the song galore while news channels announced the name of our soldiers martyred by Pakistan-sponsored terrorists,” he said.
The film, starring an ensemble cast of Karan Johar, Diljit Dosanjh, Sonakshi Sinha, Boman Irani, Rana Daggubati, among others, also features Salman Khan in a special song. Salman was rumoured to have replaced Arijit’s voice with Rahat’s voice in Jag Ghoomeya from Sultan. Salman, however, had refuted such rumours adding that it was the producers’ decision. Perhaps Arijit’s mention in Babul Supriyo’s statement triggered the rumours.
Reacting to the news, producer Vashu Bhagnani was quoted by Indian Express as saying. “I saw all this on TV and online and was so confused as to what was happening. Arijit Singh never sang for Welcome to New York in any capacity and this can be checked. He never sang a scratch either. Shamir (Tandon), the composer of the song and I were interested in a certain texture of voice and Rahat suited it perfectly. So we asked him. If Arijit didn’t sing, how can anyone remove his voice?”
Watch the Rahat Fateh Ali Khan song from Welcome to New York:
Shamir told the English daily, “These rumours completely spoil a healthy ecosystem. I wonder what Rahat must be feeling beyond the border. Also, Arijit isn’t a scratch singer.”