Freedom of artists is the essence of democracy. We strongly condemn putting restrictions on performance by young talented singer Nahid Afrin by some organisations. While there is little doubt that Afrin has been at the receiving end of bigotry more than once as a result of her singing, the outrage about a fatwa appears misinformed at best. Nahid Afrin is an over-achiever by all standards. At 16, she has been a playback singer in a mainstream Bollywood film, finished second in the country’s most high-profile musical reality show and has won so many awards in singing competitions across the country that she doesn’t even bother to count them. Not that it is very consequential, but she also got promoted to Class 10 this year. So, when news broke that a fatwa had been issued against her by some 46 Muslim clerics it was a shocking one for a teenager.
(The views expressed by the author in the article are his/her own.)