Singer Adnan Sami was conferred with the prestigious Padma Shri award on Republic Day. However, several leaders from the Opposition expressed their displeasure over the Centre's decision.
Mumbai: A day after the nation witnessed displeasure from the Opposition over the controversy with respect to the government's decision to confer him with the Padma Shri, singer Adnan Sami claimed that he has become a political target.
Speaking to reporters, Sami thanked the central government and his fans and said that the award "is a matter of pride" for him and his family.
When asked about the political storm over the award, Sami said, "I am not a politician, I am a musician. I have become a target of politics. Some people try to use me as a subject to create a stir, but otherwise as far as Citizenship Act is concerned, what my basic understanding is that it is meant for those minorities who were persecuted in the theocratic states of Afghanistan, Pakistan and Bangladesh."
On a question related to his father, Sami said, "My father was a fighter pilot in Pakistan during the 1965 war. He was an honourable soldier. He served his duty for his country as a patriotic and professional soldier. He was honoured for his patriotism. In what part of the world is a son held responsible for his father's deeds. This does not happen anywhere. This award has been given to me for my art."
Sami further stated that before his father passed away in 2009, he had informed him that he was considering taking Indian citizenship.
"When I told my father that I wanted to take Indian citizenship, he said that I had lived my life and this is now your life, you stay where you feel comfortable and don't think about me. He passed away in 2009. Unfortunately, he didn't get to see this. I became an Indian citizen in 2016. I know that his blessings are with me," Sami said.
"Of the 34 years of my professional career, I have given 20 years to India. Behind this (getting Indian citizenship) is my 18 years of struggle. I was rejected twice, but I did not give up and fulfilled all the conditions to become an Indian citizen finally. If the government of India is conferring me with the Padma Shri today, they are giving it for my 34-year long career, of which 20 were in India, and my contribution to music in India," Sami added.
Last Updated 8:27 AM IST