Dubai: Dubai resident Adil Taj from Pakistan has become an internet sensation overnight. On September 20, his video singing the Indian national anthem went viral.
The 29-year-old was among the thousands of cricket enthusiasts who attended the Pakistan versus India, Asia Cup match that took place on September 19 at the Dubai International Cricket Stadium. Taj first posted the video through a video-sharing app named Tik Tok.
Bollywood inspired him to learn the song
Taj told Gulf News: "I am a big Bollywood fan. I heard the Indian national anthem in the Hindi movie, Kabhi Khushi Kabhi Gham. One of the scenes about the anthem was so emotional, it gave me goosebumps. From then onwards, I tried to learn the anthem when it was sung before any cricket match that India was playing."
Finally, four years ago, it was Taj's niece who taught him the song. He said: "My brother's daughter goes to an Indian school in Dubai where she has learnt the anthem. I asked her to teach me. She was the one who taught me the song."
Taj, who has won many hearts on social media for the video said: "During the match, the Pakistan national anthem was sung first, all Indians who were in the stadium stood up and paid due respect. This touched me and I thought I should join them in singing their anthem."
I am inspired by our Prime Minister Imran Khan, who said: 'If they take one step towards us, we will take two.' To me, Indians at the stadium standing up for the Pakistan anthem was that one step."
Many appreciated Taj for his enthusiasm. @HattJaTau tweeted: “Pakistan man wins heart by singing the Indian national anthem. What a beautiful gesture.”
Pakistan man wins heart by singing Indian National Anthem. What a beautiful gesture. Watch it here in case you missed it. https://t.co/zb8tbvWphi pic.twitter.com/X0mgUCHh0Y— Hatt Ja Tau (@HattJaTau) September 22, 2018
And Pakisitani tweep @Qwintessentwit reminisced: “My mother and father were both born in India. She used to always sing the Indian National Anthem and I used to enjoy it.”
Many pointed out that the people of the two countries were similar in many aspects.
Indian peace advocacy group, Voice of Ram (@VORdotcom) tweeted: “Dear @narendramodi and @ImranKhanPTI ... this is a Pakistani man singing the Indian national anthem. This video has gone viral. If you are wondering what people of both nations really want, this is a good indicator.”
Dear @narendramodi and @ImranKhanPTI ... this is a Pakistani man singing the Indian national anthem. This video has gone viral. If you are wondering what people of both nations really want, this is a good indicator. pic.twitter.com/xGZTXgNqUu— VOICE OF RAM (@VORdotcom) September 21, 2018
The video was shared on Facebook too. Facebook user Neha Agarwal posted: “Who cares what the politics says. We all love each other. India, Pakistan, our people are so similar... similar culture, similar looks, similar mindset... Thanks to social media real people can connect with real people.”
And, Vivek Anand posted on Facebook: “Am surprised that he actually sang it rather well. It is not an easy anthem frankly. I have quite a few Pakistani friends but never do we ever talk about Kashmir, religion or terrorism. We talk about cricket and the similarities in our language and lifestyles.”
For some critics who thought he should have sung Pakistan’s national anthem with such zeal, on September 22, Taj posted a video of himself doing that too.
Adil Taj posted on Facebook: “For some of my fellow ‘concerned Pakistanis’, that’s me singing my PAKISTAN’s national anthem with love and passion. Respecting others National Anthems will only make me better human being. Peace Out.”
Taj who takes care of a transport company in Dubai with his brother, has been flooded with requests on Facebook. He told Gulf News: "On Friday night, I was up till 4am replying to people who had messaged me. I am allowed to accept only 5,000 requests, I have got many more and am still trying to reply to each and every person who messaged me. I am overwhelmed."