A global music star, renowned Pakistani singer Rahat Fateh Ali Khan, found himself at the centre of controversy when a video of him assaulting his band member surfaced on social media. In the viral footage, Khan is seen repeatedly hitting and slapping the man with a slipper while demanding the whereabouts of a misplaced bottle. Identified as his protégé Naveed Hasnain, the man later clarified that the bottle contained holy water. The incident sparked outrage, with many condemning Khan’s behaviour.
Following the outcry, Khan took to his Instagram account to issue an apology. Standing alongside Hasnain and his father, Khan explained that the altercation was a matter between a teacher and his student. He admitted to punishing Hasnain for his mistake but emphasised that it was done out of love and discipline. Hasnain and his father echoed this sentiment, defending Khan’s actions as those of a mentor. Khan’s longtime driver also vouched for his character, stating that Khan had never mistreated him or his family.
The controversy took on added significance due to Khan’s role as an ambassador for an anti-violence charity founded by King Charles. The charity, which aims to tackle domestic violence, was now faced with the embarrassment of one of its ambassadors being implicated in such an incident. Khan’s status as a global music icon, with millions of followers and a string of successful performances worldwide, added to the gravity of the situation. Moreover, his connections to prominent figures like the King and his involvement in Hollywood projects lent further weight to the scandal.
The incident not only caused shockwaves across the Indian subcontinent but also brought scrutiny to the British Asian Trust and its initiatives. Despite Khan’s previous contributions to various causes and his stature in the entertainment industry, the assault tarnished his reputation and raised questions about the integrity of his public persona. The emergence of multiple videos depicting his violent behaviour only exacerbated the situation, prompting widespread condemnation and calls for accountability.