Renowned Pakistani playback and Qawwali artist Rahat Fateh Ali Khan came out with a clarification after a video capturing the singer engaging in physical abuse towards another person surfaced on social media.
In the video shared by the popular Pakistani news channel Samaa TV, the singer, known for his enchanting voice, was seen resorting to violence, including slapping and using shoes to beat the person. Disturbing pleas of him stop the assault underscore the severity of the alleged incident, sparking concerns about the singer’s behavior. The person pleaded innocence, and others are seen attempting to intervene to protect him.
The footage captures the well-known Qawwali singer slapping the individual, questioning him about a “bottle.” The man is observed pleading with the singer, expressing his lack of knowledge about it. In another sequence, several individuals are witnessed attempting to intervene and pull the singer away in an effort to protect the person being assaulted.
According to reports, the singer demanded alcohol from his employee and when assaulted the latter when he failed to obey.
A Twitter user named Ghulam Abbas Shah shared the clip on X, and wrote, “Famous singer Rahat Fateh Ali khan beating his servant for bottle of Alcohol..” The clip went viral on the microblogging site and gained more than 2.1 million views.
Many netizens were outraged at Khan’s blatant cruelty, and chastised him. “Unfortunately no Rahat for his servant. Disgusting behaviour,” wrote an X user.
Another commented, “Clearly this isn’t the first time he’s done it. Should be arrested on the basis of this evidence alone. Talent does not excuse savagery.”
Singer Says Bottle Did Not Contain Alcohol, But Holy Water
In response to the controversy, Rahat Fateh Ali Khan attempted to downplay the viral video shared by senior Pakistani journalist Tariq Mateen, the ‘Jiya Dhadak Dhadak’ singer described the incident as a personal matter between a teacher (ustad) and his disciple (shagird). In the clarification video, the man named Hasnain admitted to misplacing a bottle containing holy water that came from a pir who had recited religious verses over it. Khan said that there was no ill-intention behind his actions.
He emphasized the familial relationship with Khan, describing him as a father figure who loves them. The person’s father also supported Khan, highlighting the unique dynamics of the ‘ustad and shagird’ relationship in the realm of Qawwali.
“He is my father and my teacher. Whoever has done this act, is blackmailing to defame my teacher,” said Hasnain.
Khan asserted that the relationship involves showering love for good deeds and administering punishment for wrongdoing, while also expressing regret over his behaviour. Rahat Fateh Ali Khan also claimed that he had apologized to his shagird for the behaviour. He also revealed that he had sought forgiveness from Hasnain.
“He is like my son…how relation is between a teacher and his disciple. If a disciple does something good, I shower my love on him. If he does something wrong, he is punished,” he said in the video.
One of the most renowned qawwali singers in South Asia, Khan hails from a family of iconic musicians. His grandfather Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan is still remembered as one of the greatest qawwali performers of all time.
In India, Khan shot to fame after the romantic ballad ‘Jiya Dhadak Dhadak Jaye’ (from the 2005 Kunal Khemu-starrer ‘Kalyug’), became a chartbuster. He has lent his voice to many Bollywood hit tracks such as ‘Tere Mast Mast Do Nain’ (from the Salman Khan-starrer ‘Dabangg’), ‘Teri Ore‘ (‘Singh Is King’), ‘Teri Meri Prem Kahani’ (‘Bodyguard’) etc.
(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by The Kashmir Monitor staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)