Jaipur hosts Pakistani dancer Nahid Siddiki

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By Lokendra Singh

Jaipur, Mar 28 : Jaipur played a perfect host to a colourful traditional dance performance by an artist from Pakistan.

Nahid Siddiki, the artist from Pakistan danced to the beats of 'Kathak' as a part of the ongoing 'Rajasthan Diwas' festival.

Siddiki, the Kathak dancer said that artists should serve as cultural diplomats of the nations in the 'true sense' and take up the responsibility of spreading the message of peace and love between the two nations.

Siddiki said that there is need for generating awareness about performing arts and music in Pakistan as religious fanatics have created a lot of confusion.

"There is lack of awareness in the country (Pakistan). Some have a misconception that Islam does not encourage dance and music. Probably, there are others who feel that women should not be associated with these things. There are fanatics in every country who create problems. And of course, there is lack of awareness and education in our country. If you are liberal, then you can think with an open mind. I believe that art can actually help a nation to be liberal in the true sense. It creates a balance. It is this balance that is missing in Pakistan," said Siddiki.

She recounted that how owing to such social pressures, the authorities in Pakistan had banned her from staging performances.

Artists from Pakistan accompanying the Kathak dancer also voiced similar opinions and said that art is not appreciated back in their country.

"There are other things that are causing unrest in the country and people are not able to concentrate and appreciate the finer things of life. There is unrest and bombs blasts are taking place," said Hasan Siddiki, another artist from Pakistan.

In the recent past, Indian and Pakistani artists have taken it upon themselves to bridge the gap between the two nations. Both the countries have hosted many cultural exchange programs.

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