22 August 2019
Mumbai: Singer Mika Singh has apologised to the Federation of Western India Cine Employees (FWICE) after the association banned him from working in India, following his recent live performance in Pakistan.
Interacting with the media on Wednesday in Mumbai, Mika said he had to do it owing to prior commitment, but admitted it was a mistake that he would never repeat. However, the interaction soon turned into a heated exchange between the singer and the media.
"This was a commitment signed long back. The timing was wrong that I went there because the decision on Article 370 has just been taken. I called the federation and told them that this was a mistake. I apologise for the mistake and I won't repeat it again. I got a visa, so I went (to Pakistan). If you get a visa, you will go, too," said Mika, while interacting with the media along with chief advisor of FWICE, Ashoke Pandit, and the body's president, B.N. Tiwari, on Wednesday in Mumbai.
Earlier, the All India Cine Workers Association (AICWA) and FWICE had banned Mika for performing at the wedding of a relative of former Pakistani President, General Pervez Musharraf, in Karachi. Mika's presence became known after pictures and videos of his performance appeared on social media.
In his justification, the singer said that he had made a commitment to the client "long back".
The media, however, started countering Mika with questions like why he went to Pakistan in first place after the Pulwama attack, Mika started a heated argument.
"Do you (media) know that Neha Kakkar and (Pakistani singer) Atif Alsam performed here only two months ago? Do you know that Sonu Nigam also performed together with Atif four months ago? Why did no one say anything then? When I do something, the media talks about it to grab headlines. You want me to get angry so that you can show it on your news channels and (publish it in) the newspapers," he said.
Announcing that the ban on Mika was now being lifted, Ashoke Pandit said: "We were in shock that Mika performed in Pakistan and at a time when India is bleeding due to Pakistan. Such an approach on part of Indian artists is not acceptable. However, we are now taking back the circular to ban Mika Singh."
Tiwari said: "We had issued the letter to ban Mika Singh but Mika wrote back to us saying he wanted to be heard. He said he regrets that the timing of the event and his visit to Pakistan was not right. We had a meeting and heard Mika's version."
Tiwari added that FWICE stood firm on its decision of banning Pakistani artistes from working in Bollywood.