Pakistani-origin musician Adnan Sami was one of the 118 people whose names were announced on Saturday for the Padma Shri awards. Padma Shri is the fourth highest civilian award after the Bharat Ratna, the Padma Vibhushan and the Padma Bhushan. It is awarded by the Government of India, every year on India's Republic Day.
Hoeever, ever since then, Adnan has found himself at the centre of a political debate apart from a Twitter war. Congress spokesperson Jaiveer Shergill questioned the merit of the award and asked why the son of a Pakistan Air Force pilot was conferred with one of India's highest civilian honour. For the unversed, Adnan's father Arshad Sami Khan was a Pakistani Air Force veteran-turned-bureaucrat and fought against India in the 1965 war. Soon after, countering NCP's criticism, BJP spokesperson Sambit Patra pointed out Congress president Sonia Gandhi''s father's alleged association with Mussolini and Hitler and asked why she was given Indian citizenship. He even asserted that Adnan is "highly deserving" and was given the Padma honour on merit apart from maintaining that Adnan's mother Naureen Khan was a resident of Jammu earlier.
Now in an interview with a channel, Adnan finally opened up on the entire fiasco and said, "You cannot hold a son responsible for the acts of his father and the father cannot be held responsible for the acts of his son,” adding, "As far as my father is concerned, he was an honourable soldier. He exhibited patriotism for his country and I am proud of that. I learnt many lessons from him on how to be a loyal citizen." He further stated, “Today I happen to be a proud Indian. My patriotism and allegiance is towards my beloved country and me getting the award is purely on my merit as a musician and has nothing to do with my affiliation with my father."
Meanwhile, talking about the Padma Shri, Adnan said, "I have been given one of the ultimate honours an individual can ever receive from his country. Nothing gives me greater pride, gratitude and elation in this regard." Last but not the least, when prodded about Jaiveer's allegations, Adnan signed off by saying, “I don’t see how the Congress will have any issues; no one from the top brass has said anything. A few juniors have tried to seek attention by doing these things.”
Adnan, born in Lahore in Pakistan, first arrived in India on one-year visa on March 13, 2001. He was finally granted Indian citizenship with effect from January 1, 2016.
(Source: News 18)