Nahid Siddiqui promotes Kathak in Pakistan

Nahid Siddiqui is a Pakistani exponent of Kathak who had been banned from performing in 1978 by the Zia regime on the charge that she was promoting values that were against Islam, and was branded as an Indian spy for her Kathak-themed serial "Payal" on Pakistan TV.

The serial was pulled out after five episodes and Nahid Siddiqui fled her country.

She was allowed to leave only after giving a written undertaking that she would never perform anywhere abroad without the prior permission of the Pakistan government.

"After Partition, in order to build our own identity, we started to reject many things from our common (Indian) heritage and traditions. Dance was something we rejected. We had to deny what we were, and in that process we brought in religion to justify it" Nahid rues.

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