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WATCH- Rahat Fateh Ali Khan hits student with shoe; offers clarification later

Pakistani singer Rahat Fateh Ali Khan faced controversy over a viral video showing him allegedly assaulting his disciple. Khan clarified it as a personal matter, emphasizing the traditional teacher-disciple bond. The disciple, admitting fault, affirmed Khan's fatherly love

WATCH Rahat Fateh Ali Khan hits at student with shoe; offers clarification later ATG
First Published Jan 28, 2024, 9:51 AM IST

Iconic Pakistani singer Rahat Fateh Ali Khan found himself in the midst of controversy as a viral video circulated, allegedly capturing him physically assaulting a man whom he claimed to be his disciple. The footage depicted the renowned Qawwali singer repeatedly striking and slapping the individual, who pleaded ignorance about a missing "bottle." Onlookers were seen attempting to intervene and rescue the distressed disciple.

Pakistani broadcaster Samaa TV identified the man as an employee of Rahat Fateh Ali Khan, expressing concern over the emergence of violent behavior among singers. The incident prompted Khan, the nephew of legendary Qawwali maestro Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan, to address the issue and offer clarification.

In a subsequent video, Rahat Fateh Ali Khan downplayed the incident, categorizing it as a "personal matter between an ustad and his shagird (teacher and disciple)." He featured the man who had been subjected to the alleged assault and the man's father in the video to provide context to his actions.

Explaining the situation, Khan stated, "This is about a personal issue between an ustad and shagird. He is like my son. This is how the relation is between a teacher and his disciple. If a disciple does something good, I shower my love on him. If he does something wrong, he is punished." Khan emphasized that he had also apologized to the disciple after the incident.

In the clarification video, the disciple admitted misplacing a bottle containing holy water, which apparently triggered the altercation. He clarified that there was no ill-intention behind his actions, stating, "He's like my father. He loves us a lot. Whoever spread this video is trying to defame my ustad." The disciple's father also came forward to support Rahat Fateh Ali Khan, highlighting the traditional and intricate relationship between an 'ustad and shagird' in the realm of Qawwali.

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The incident and subsequent clarification shed light on the complexities of the mentor-disciple relationship in the context of traditional music, while also bringing attention to the challenges of fame and public scrutiny for renowned artists.

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