Indian Singer Kailash Kher Attacked With Bottles During Concert While Singing Atif Aslam’s Song

Indian Singer Kailash Kher Attacked With Bottles During Concert While Singing Atif Aslam’s Song
In a shocking incident, Indian singer Kailash Kher was attacked with bottles during his live concert in Karnataka.

The singer was singing Pakistani singer Atif Aslam’s song ‘Tu Jaane Na’ from Azab Prem Ki Ghazab Kahani when two men attacked him with a bottle.

Two boys from the audience demanded the singer to sing Kannada songs. Later, they threw a water bottle at him. The video of the same is making rounds on the internet. The Karnataka Police have taken the two youths from the audience gallery into custody.

Read also: How Coke Studio Got Its Mojo Back


Showing signs of exhaustion and complacency during its last few seasons, Coke Studio (CS) returned this year looking refreshed, rejuvenated and reinvented. Helmed by a new producer Xulfi Jabbar Khan, with Abdullah Siddiqui acting as his deputy, the show’s new season was able to make the show relevant again in a scenario where platforms such as Velo Sound Station and Pepsi Battle of the Bands had begun to make CS look like something that was just going through the motions.

CS was launched in 2008 when, due to rising incidents of Islamist violence, the country’s pop music scene had all but collapsed. Outdoor concerts and music festivals evaporated, and the advent of online streaming services (mostly illegal) put a dent on CD sales. One can’t claim that pop and rock acts went ‘underground’ as such. Many of them simply withered away. New acts were hard to find. Even the so-called ‘underground’ platforms got lost in the clutter of multiple online avenues. It became almost impossible to pin down who was singing what.

But the most pressing issue faced by Pakistan at the time was a surge in religious radicalisation and violence. The Pervez Musharraf dictatorship (1999-2008) believed that the creation and proliferation of art informed by ‘Sufism’ could work as a bulwark against Islamist extremism, and aid young people to ‘reconnect’ with the region’s Sufi past. This experiment was carried forward by the PPP-led coalition government that replaced the Musharraf regime after the 2008 elections.

This is not to suggest that the new government was in anyway involved in the launch of CS. But it is a fact that CS as a concept emerged from a narrative that had originated during the Musharraf dictatorship and was being worked by the new government.

The first 6 seasons of CS were studded with modern renditions and reworkings of popular Sufi and folk songs sung by veteran folk and pop stars, gathered inside a large studio with a plethora of musicians. These seasons were helmed by former Vital Signs founder and member Rohail Hyatt who had also become a music producer. After producing six seasons of CS, Rohail was replaced by the two mainstays of the now defunct pop act Strings — Bilal Maqsood and Faisal Kapadia. CS had done well to establish itself as a popular and quality music platform. But many fans felt that by season 6, Rohail had exhausted the ideas that he had come in with.

Rohail, though credited as a ‘synth player’ in the Signs, had also taken the additional roles of producer and engineer on the band’s last three albums. After the Signs, Rohail grew even further in his role as a producer. Also, whereas the Signs’ lead vocalist, the late Junaid Jamshed, ventured into Islamic evangelicalism (and then quit music), Rohail saw himself drawn towards Sufism. The ‘Sufi’ blueprint for CS was largely mapped by him, until it became an act of convenience rather than anything a bit more meaningful.

The conceptual framework, blueprint and setting remained the same during Maqsood and Kapadia’s stay in the producers’ slot. But both did try to slightly widen the sonic scope of the show by introducing more contemporary pop in the mix. Technically, they were as good as Rohail. However, one felt CS was becoming increasingly fossilised in its ways. It was overtly banking on established acts and on the ‘Sufi’ vibe which, by then, had been milked so vigorously that it began to wilt. It became rather obvious that the COLAnization of Sufism could not be stretched any further.

A new set of producers was brought in for season 11. They were Noorie’s Ali and Hamza Noor. They were competent musicians who had tasted their share of success. But theirs was the weakest CS season. Maybe they were just a make-shift arrangement. But to be fair to them, I do not think they were given any clear mandate to revitalise a wilting product. Rohail was asked to return, in the hope that the memory of him ‘pioneering’ the CS concept, might reignite interest in an audience that was not only leaving, but was also changing.