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Rahat Fateh Ali Khan criticised for assaulting ‘protege’


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Rahat Fateh Ali Khan found himself at the centre of a controversy after a video of him allegedly slapping a person went viral on social media on Saturday, following which the renowned Pakistani singer said it was an attempt to tarnish his image.

In the purported video, Khan can be seen repeatedly hitting and slapping the man, whom he later identified as his protege Naveed Hasnain, with a slipper asking “Where is my bottle?”

Khan’s name started trending on X hours after the 1.03-minute clip went viral, with many users calling out the singer for his misbehaviour. It couldn’t be ascertained when and where the said video was filmed.

The singer, known for hit Hindi movie songs such as “Mann ki Lagan” and “Jiya Dhadak Dhadak”, later shared a series of videos on Instagram as a clarification.

Khan, 49, termed the viral video an “internal matter” between a master and his disciple.

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“Whatever you have seen in these videos is about an internal matter between an ustad (master) and a shagird (protege). When a protege does a good job, we shower a lot of them and when they make a mistake, we punish them as well… I had apologised to him at the same time…” the popular singer said in the video, which also featured Hasnain and his father.

In a separate video, Khan said the person who shot the video was trying to tarnish his image.

“These are attempts to defame me and paint me as a tyrant, but I ask them to take a look at themselves first,” he added.

Many X users slammed Khan and claimed that the brouhaha was over “a lost bottle of alcohol”.

According to Hasnain, he had misplaced a bottle that contained “holy water”.

“I had forgotten where I kept that bottle which had ‘pir sahab ka dum ka paani’ (holy water). God knows our ustad loves us a lot too. Whoever has recorded that video is a blackmailer. This person is trying to defame my ustaad ji,” he said.

Hasnain also said his family and Khan’s relationship transcends 40 years and whatever one saw in the viral clip was a “lie”.

“He can hit me, scold me, he’s my ustad. That video is a lie and an attempt to malign my ustaad’s reputation,” he added in another video.

The criticism on social media didn’t stop even after Khan tried to clear the air, with many terming his explanation about hitting his protege “lame” and “embarrassing”.

Commenting on the viral video, singer Chinmayi Sripada said one would never think people who behave like “soft-spoken souls in public” would be capable of such inhumane behaviour.

“If only cameras existed earlier – more of those we celebrate as so-called greats would have been exposed for what they actually were to other people. Horrendous,” she wrote.

Sripada also slammed Khan for his statement.

“Gurus get protected by the ‘divinity’ of their position, regardless of the faith/religion they practice – all their transgressions, from violence, and emotional abuse to sexual abuse is condoned for the sake of their ‘artistry’, ‘talent’ etc, etc. This needs to stop,” the singer added in another post.


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