Popular composer duo Salim-Sulaiman and Assamese artiste Papon on Wednesday urged people to keep music and musicians away from politics amidst the ongoing unrest between India and Pakistan following the September 18 attack in Jammu and Kashmir.

At an event here to announce folk and fusion music festival Paddy Fields, the artistes, asked their thoughts regarding the ban of Pakistani artistes in India and curtailed cross-border cultural exchange between the two countries, chose to be diplomatic.

Salim said: “We should respect music and musicians beyond the border and politics.”

To that, Sulaiman added: “Having said that, we must not forget that we are a part of the music fraternity. If it is the official decision of the fraternity not to work with any musicians from a particular country, we are bound to follow the rule.”

The Maharashtra Navnirman Sena, following the Uri attack that killed 19 Indian soldiers, issued an ultimatum to Pakistani artistes to leave the country, and threated they won’t let any Bollywood films with Pakistani actors release.

Following that, the Indian Motion Picture Producers Association passed a resolution to avoid working with Pakistani artistes until bilateral tensions between the two countries subside.

Asked about his opinion, Papon said: “I am an artiste and do not follow politics regularly. However, I think music is a universal language that should not be limited based on borders. Borders are being created for political reason, let’s keep the music out of it (politics).”

The musicians were gathered at a press conference for the upcoming two-day music fest Paddy Fields, organized by Nesco, in association with Big 92.7 FM.

This will feature various folk artistes from across the country, coming together to perform at the Bombay Exhibition Centre in Goregaon here October 15-16.