Forty-six Muslim clerics in Assam have issued a fatwa against up-and-coming singer Nahid Afrin, who was the first runner-up in the 2015 season of a musical reality TV show Indian Idol, asking her to stop performing in public.
Young singer Nahid, against whom some Islamic clerics in the state have issued a “fatwa”, says she is not afraid and would not stop singing or performing till her death. Over 40 clerics from Muslim organisations issued the “fatwa” against the 16-year-old, restricting her to perform on stage, saying that the performance by a girl on stage was against the “Sharia laws”.
The clerics organisation had also distributed some leaflets in and around Udali area near Hojai in central Assam, asking the singer not to perform in a function scheduled for March 25. Talking about it, Afrin told the media: “I was broken completely after hearing about the “fatwa”. But I am not going to stop singing. I have received hundreds of calls and messages from the people of Assam and different organisations supporting me.”
Nahid, a resident of the Biswanath Chariali city in the Biswanath district of Assam, was the first runner-up in the 2015 edition of Indian Idol Junior. The Standard 10 student, along with her parents, has approached the police after the fatwa was issued against her.
The young singer shot to fame after she made her debut in Bollywood with 2016 Sonakshi Sinha starrer “Akira”.
Assam chief minister Sarbananda Sonowal spoke to me and told me not to be afraid. He also assured me of security during the scheduled programme at Udali on March 25. “I am a singer and music is my life. I don’t think I can survive without music. Allah has blessed me with this voice for singing, and I’ll die if I am not allowed to sing,” said Afrin.
“Being a practising Muslim, I do not believe singing is anti-Islam.”
“My singing is gift of God. I believe it must be properly utilised, not doing so would be ignoring God,” she said, adding, “My father too told me our religious leaders said I can continue singing.”
Assam CM Sarbananda Sonowal on Wednesday tweeted: “Freedom of artists is essence of democracy. Spoke to Nahid and reiterated our government’s commitment to provide safety and security to artists.”
Freedom of artists are essence of democracy. Spoke to Nahid and reiterated our Govt’s commitment to provide safety and security to artists.
— Sarbananda Sonowal (@sarbanandsonwal) March 14, 2017
Sonowal had a telephonic conversation with Nahid and assured her of all steps to ensure her security so that she can continue pursuing her vocation and bring laurels to the state.
In a statement, Sonowal said, “Such a ruling against practising art and culture is unacceptable and is tantamount to infringement of one’s freedom of cultural rights. Such a move cannot be tolerated in a civilised society”.
Meanwhile, several organisations and individuals in Assam have come out to support the young singer and against the “fatwa” issued against the singer and said that people of Assam will give security to her.