Home » Padma Shri award to singer-musician Adnan Sami kicks up row

Padma Shri award to singer-musician Adnan Sami kicks up row

by Raju Vernekar
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The Padma Shri award to the singer Adnan Sami Khan announced by the Union Government, has created a controversy with the Congress and Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS), opposing the award saying that Adnan is not original Indian.
The Raj Thackeray-led Maharashtra Navnirman Sena has objected to the Centre bestowing the Padma Shri to Adnan, saying that he is not an “original Indian citizen”. In a tweet, to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Amey Khopkar, president of the MNS’s cinema wing, said, “Sami is not an original Indian citizen. MNS is of the view that he should not be given any award. We condemn the decision to honour him with padmashri and demand the decision be withdrawn.”  “ Adnan got citizenship of India in the Narendra Modi regime 4 years back. What was the reason to lift him (Adnan) so fast and high ? Khopkar asked in an apparent reference to Adnan’s video song “lift Karaday” released a few years back.
Whereas Congress spokesperson Jaiveer Shergill took to Twitter to criticise the BJP-led government for honouring Adnan with the Padma Shri, saying that he was given the award because of his “Chamchagiri” (sycophancy) of the Government. The name of the Kargil war veteran and President’s medal winner Mohammad Sanaullah does not find place in the National Register of Citizens (NRC)(published in September 2019), whereas whose father fought against India gets in the India’s civilian award, Shergill said. While the Congress questioned the merit of the award, the NCP labelled it as an insult.
Adnan was born on 15 August 1971 in London, England to Arshad Sami Khan, a Pakistani Air Force vet and diplomat of Pashtun origin and Naureen (originally from Jammu and Kashmir). He first arrived in India on a one-year visitor’s visa granted by the High Commission of India, Islamabad, on March 13, 2001. Thereafter in the intervening 15 years, his visa was renewed several times. He was granted Indian citizenship “on humanitarian ground” with effect from January 1, 2016 after his Pakistani passport expired on May 26, 2015 and was not renewed there.
However even before he was granted citizenship of India, Adnan had acquired eight flats and five parking spaces in Mumbai in 2003, in violation of RBI regulations. Subsequently the  Enforcement Directorate (ED) seized the properties saying that they were acquired without Reserve Bank of India (RBI)’s permission in violation of Foreign Exchange Management Regulations for acquisition and transfer of immovable property in India. The permission, the ED     said, was required as Adnan was a Pakistani national at the time. The ED had also imposed a penalty of Rs 20 lakh on Sami, since foreign nationals are required to seek RBI’s permission to buy property in India.
However the appellate tribunal in New Delhi set aside confiscation of Adnan’s property in 2010, saying no foreign exchange was involved in its purchase. However the tribunal increased the penalty on Adnan to from Rs 20 lakh to Rs 50 lakh, for acquiring the properties without RBI’s permission.
Sami was one of the 118 people whose names were announced for the Padma Shri awards, with the Ministry of Home Affairs list showing his home state as Maharashtra.
The awards will be conferred by the President of India in a ceremonial function in March or April this year.
In response Adnan expressed his gratitude towards the government for recognising him. Taking to the microblogging site Twitter, he wrote: ”The greatest moment for any Artiste is to be appreciated & recognised by his/her government. I am overwhelmed with infinite gratitude for being honoured with the ‘Padma Shri’ by the Government of India. It has been a 34 years musical journey.. ‘Bohot Shukriya’!!”
Twitter war between Adnan and Congress spokesman Jaiveer Shergill
Adnan Sami Khan on twitter to Jaiveer Shergill
Hey kid, did you get ur brain from a ‘Clearance Sale’ or from a second hand novelty store? Did they teach u in Berkley that a son is to be held accountable or penalised for the acts of his parents? And ur a lawyer?.Is that what u learned in law school? Good luck with that!
Jaiveer Shergill to Adnan Sami Khan on twitter
“ Uncle,i can reply in ur language but “Indian” culture teaches us to be respectful even to our enemies-u jumped border only recently so guess ur still learning. Objection is to Policy of declaring Indian Soldier as foreigner & giving award to family of a Pak soldier.Good Day.

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