Two days after singer Ghulam Ali’s concert was cancelled in Mumbai following threats from Shiv Sena, the ghazal maestro has accepted an invitation by the Delhi government to perform in the national capital. He will perform in the city this December.
The Mumbai concert, which was scheduled to honour late singer Jagjit Singh, was cancelled after members of Chitrapat Sena (the film wing of Shiv Sena) threatened to disrupt it. The organisation warned that no artiste from Pakistan will be allowed to perform in the city till terror emanating from across the border is stopped.
Confirming the development, Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal tweeted on Friday, “Ghulam Ali Sahib. Hum apke bahut bade fan hain. Abhi apse baat karke bahut acha laga. Thanks for agreeing to do a program in Delhi in Dec.”
Ghulam Ali Sahib. Hum apke bahut bade fan hain. Abhi apse baat karke bahut acha laga. Thanks for agreeing to do a program in Delhi in Dec.— Arvind Kejriwal (@ArvindKejriwal) October 9, 2015
Earlier this week, AAP had extended an invite to the ghazal singer. “We can have the concert in Delhi, I am sure it will be well received. Music and art have no boundary, I feel that the freedom of people is being restricted a lot,” Delhi tourism minister Kapil Mishra tweeted on Thursday.
Reacting to the cancellation of his concert, Ghulam Ali told Hindustan Times on Thursday, “If any person wants to remove the distance between the two countries, then even a journey of a thousand miles can be completed quickly. It is my wish that Allah lets these two countries live together with a lot of love and affection.”
BJP, which rules Maharashtra in alliance with the Shiv Sena, distanced itself from the threat. “What the Sena is doing with Ghulam Ali is absolutely wrong. People like him must be kept above and beyond borders,” Union minister Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi said. The Shiv Sena has often opposed public events featuring Pakistani actors and musicians. It has also opposed cricket matches between India and Pakistan in the past.
Watch: Ghulam Ali reacts to cancellation of Mumbai concert
In April, Pakistani singer Atif Aslam’s concert in Pune was cancelled after threats from the party. In February, a news conference by well-known Sufi band Mekaal Hasan was disrupted by Sena members. In 2010, Sena workers opposed the inclusion of Begum Nawazish and Veena Malik in the reality show Bigg Boss.