Adnan Sami Becomes Indian Citizen, Says No Intolerance

New Delhi
Adnan Sami Becomes Indian Citizen, Says No Intolerance
File Photo
Adnan Sami Becomes Indian Citizen, Says No Intolerance
outlookindia.com
-0001-11-30T00:00:00+0553

Pakistan-born singer Adnan Sami today got Indian citizenship, calling it a "new birth" and a "beautiful gift", as he waded into the intolerance debate, saying there is no such trend in the country.

A smiling Adnan, 46, received the citizenship certificate from Minister of State for Home Kiren Rijiju at North Block here in the presence of his wife Roya after which he sang his famous song--"Teri oonchi shaan hai maula...Mujhko bhi to lift kara de".

"A New Beginning... A New Feeling... A New Belonging... A New Love Affair... A New Country... JAI HIND!!!," said Adnan, who has made India as his second home for the past few years, in a series of tweets shortly after getting the certificate.

"My Profound thanks to Honourable Prime Minister @narendramodi ji for approving my Indian Citizenship. A New birth!

"I'm highly indebted to the Honourable HM @BJPRajnathSingh ji for his tremendous support in granting me Indian Citizenship," he said.

Asked about concerns expressed by actors Aamir Khan and Shah Rukh Khan over the climate of intolerance in India, he said everyone was entitled to his or her own opinion and their remarks were perhaps based on their own experience.

"Had there been intolerance, I would not have taken Indian citizenship. I have never experienced intolerance. There is no intolerance in India," he said.

The singer said he was very happy after becoming Indian citizen and grateful to the government.

"I am grateful to the government of India for giving me this beautiful gift," he said.

BJP ally Shiv Sena expressed surprise at Sami being granted Indian citizenship, saying it showed the senior NDA partner's "double standards" on the issue.

"When BJP was in opposition, it protested against Adnan Sami, now they are granting him citizenship," Sena spokesperson Manisha Kayande said.

Asked if Sena will hold protests over this issue, Kayande told PTI, "I am just saying we are surprised at the turn of events. BJP vehemently opposed Sami while in opposition. But once in power, he gets citizenship".

"In pursuance of the powers conferred by the Citizenship Act, upon taking the oath of allegiance within the time and in the manner required by the rules made in that behalf, he shall, subject to the provisions of the said Act, be entitled to all political and other rights, powers and privileges, and be subject to all obligations, duties and liabilities to which an Indian citizen is entitled or subject, and have right to all intents and purposes and the status of an Indian citizen," a Home Ministry statement said.

Home Ministry officials said Sami has been given Indian citizenship following his request to the Centre to legalise his status in the country on humanitarian grounds.

The singer had made a representation to the Home Ministry on May 26 this year requesting that he be allowed to stay in India on humanitarian grounds.

Sami had first arrived in India on March 13, 2001 on a visitor's visa with the validity of one year which was issued by the Indian High Commission in Islamabad.

His visa was extended from time to time. His Pakistani passport issued on May 27, 2010 expired on May 26, 2015 and his passport was not renewed by the Pakistan government which led him to approach the Indian government with the request to legalise his stay in India.

Sami's two songs from the album, 'Kabhi To Nazar Milao' and 'Lift Kara De', whose music video starred actor Govinda, were a sensation in the early 2000s.

This year the singer tasted success with his song 'Bhar Do Jholi meri' in Salman Khan-starrer 'Bajrangi Bhaijaan'.

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