Muslims insecure under Modi rule: Rafi’s son

By Preetha Nair

Agra: Minorities, especially, the Muslim community feel insecure under Prime Minister Narendra Modi, says Shahid Rafi, son of the legendary singer Mohammed Rafi here.

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He also reiterated his demand for the Bharat Ratna for his father.

Speaking to IANS on the sidelines of the third edition of the Taj Literature festival, which began on Friday, Shahid said that the prevailing situation in the country is disturbing.

“Muslims feel threatened under this government. Whether it’s the crackdown on Jawaharlal Nehru University students or the attack on minorities, the situation is disturbing,” said Shahid who joined the Congress last month.

Earlier with the Asaduddin Owaisi-led AIMIM for whom he contested the Mumbadevi assembly segment in south Mumbai in the Maharashtra assembly elections, he said he preferred the Congress as it is a secular and democratic party.

“I was with AIMIM only for a brief period. I contested under their banner and secured 16,000 votes. However, I didn’t want to limit myself and I joined Congress to serve the country in a better way. It is the oldest party in the country,” he said.

Shahid, who had recently demanded that his father should be conferred the Bharat Ratna posthumously, said hs fans would be happy at this.

“He himself was a Bharat Ratna. However, I feel that his fans will be happy if he gets it posthumously,” he said, adding he gets overwhelmed by the love from Rafi fans wherever he goes.

“I always get mobbed by my father’s fans. It’s a blessing to be born as the son of Rafi,” he said.

Reminiscing about his father, Shahid said that he was an affectionate and loving father to them.” I can only remember him as a gentle and caring dad. He was a complete family man,” he said.

He noted that Rafi’s co-singers and actors like Dilip Kumar, Dev Anand, Shammi Kapoor and many in his era respected him a lot. “He was highly respected in the film industry. My father was a simple man and he doesn’t like to socialise,” said Shahid, who runs garment business in Mumbai apart from holding stage shows.

However, Rafi didn’t want his children to follow his footsteps, said Shahid. “My father used to say that if you want to become a singer, be like me or above me, never below me,” he said.