KARACHI – Leading Pakistani singer Atif Aslam has been praised after stopping his concert mid-song to disown his tracks that are contributing to the prevailing harassment culture.
A video of Atif Aslam interrupting his live performance in Karachi on Wednesday has been shared thousands of times.
The popular singer told all potential harassers in the crowd: “I’d like to apologise if my songs or videos have in any way added to your tendency to harass women.”
“I mean a lot of my songs and their videos reduce women to objects of physical attraction. I have talked about going out of control after seeing a girl for the first time in pehli nazar, other tracks talk about a girl and how she should feel me. There are others still that talk about a women as water that should dissolve me – and so on and so forth,” he added.
Atif admitted that while he isn’t as bad as many others in Bollywood especially, and tends to get away with constant reduction of women as a ‘romantic’ singer, he felt he owed an apology as someone who has contributed to the harassment culture.
“Of course, I never intended it that way, but now that I look back I think I might have to disown many songs to live up to this symbol of women empowerment that I’ve become out of the blue,” he told the crowd.
Atif Aslam called gender studies analysts and harassment experts mid-concert, and urged them to sift his songs that don’t blatantly add to the culture of harassment.
“I mean borderline is fine – I can’t afford to lose half my discography – but tracks that I can’t get away with in 2017, we need to get rid of those.”
The audience applauded him, chanting “Atif, Atif”.
The singer only resumed his performance after making sure the next song was a ‘safe’ option, and vowed to create more songs on women’s rights in the future.