Hadiqa Kiani recently collaborated with Turkish artist Ali Tolga for a song – Diami Bahar — that centered on the oppression in Kashmir. The song was much loved and appreciated in Pakistan but soon after it got popular, it was removed from YouTube. The singer confirmed the news on her Instagram.
“There seems to be a systematic silencing taking place but we will not be silenced because our message is of love and peace. We are on the right side of history,” she wrote in her Instagram story.
As the singer hinted, the act is not just a random technical error but it reeks of a deep rooted bias against Pakistan or more significantly anything that is in favor of Pakistan’s stance on the Kashmir issue. This is not the first time a Pakistani song has been removed from YouTube. Earlier, Atif Aslam and Rahat Fateh Ali Khan have been a victim of this abuse of power when Indian fandom has forced music labels to remove songs. Even Indian Twitter users have reported Pakistani artists’ account (Nabeel Qureshi) in order to get it suspended. However, this time the issue is on a larger scale.
Something Haute got in touch with Hadiqa Kiani to get opinion on the matter.
“Sorry but I can’t really give a response that people don’t already know. The subject of Kashmir and the oppression have always been taboo and rarely does anyone amplify the voices of the oppressed. I’m a singer and I’m fortunate enough to have a platform so I have continued to use my voice in the only way I can. I want to do my best to amplify the plight of the people of Kashmir,” she said.
When asked why it happened and what can be done to ensure it doesn’t happen again, Hadiqa said that it is still unclear.
“There is no real resolution that I know of right now regarding the video. After it reached several thousand views, it was abruptly taken down and now the organization, Kashmir Civitas, is working to get it back live on YouTube,” she replied.
However, she is hopeful and will continue to propagate the right message.
“Our message is only of peace and love. I believe that everyone deserves to be free,” she concluded.
Diami Bahar translates to Eternal Spring and the song is primarily in Turkish with bits in Urdu. Hadiqa Kiani’s maternal ancestors are from Izmir, Turkey and she has had an affinity for the country since childhood. This is not the first time that Hadiqa has sung a song in Turkish; a few weeks ago, she released a cover of popular Turkish track, Sen Ağlama, originally sung by Sezen Aksu, as a tribute to the hit TV show in Pakistan, Diriliş: Ertuğrul.
The song is still available on the singer’s Facebook page: