The upcoming musical symphony of world-renowned maestro Zubin Mehta has come under cloud in Kashmir. Hardline and moderate Hurriyat chairmen Syed Ali Shah Geelani and Mirwaiz Umar Farooq have taken exception to it.
"Without any bias, we oppose any such move harmful for the Kashmir cause. It is our democratic right and none of the civilised nation can deny this fact," said Geelani.
Mehta's orchestra is scheduled to play 'Ehasas-e-Kashmir' on September 7. A private plane from Germany's Bavaria will fly to India carrying around 100 instruments and same number of players would play the symphony at Kashmir's Mughal garden, Shalimar. The show would go live in all European countries.
Moderate Hurriyat chairman has also joined the chorus against the musical show. "Crores of rupees will be spent on boarding and lodging of the artists who are being flown in chartered planes and on TV and media rights of the event. Instead of spending the money on this event it would be much better if this money is utilised for the healthcare and education of the downtrodden people of this conflict zone," he said.
Michael Steiner, German ambassador to India, described the event as "apolitical one".
"We think Kashmir deserves recognition for its culture and history. It is a concert for the people of Kashmir. Kashmiris have not been acknowledged so far. The response we get from common Kashmiris is fantastic," he said.
The German ambassador has held a series of meetings with number of people in Kashmir to make the concert a success.
"I think to have a concert for Kashmiris, you have to go to the heart, and Shalimar Garden is the heart," he said.
The government has decked up the garden and the fountains and roofs were renovated.
Around 28 sponsors are backing the event, which include Incredible India. Around 1,500 people are scheduled to participate in the live show. The show is likely to be attended by 21 union ministers.
In response to separatists' threats, the ambassador said, "September will not change the world. The event is being organised by the German embassy. The invitation will come from me and my wife. This is not an event related to tourism. I know the limits."
He said the event will allow some people to enjoy and realise that the world recognises the Kashmiris and the situation here. "It will give them joy. Let the power of music play its part. This is a not a solution to anything. This is not a peace concert. This is purely a cultural event," he added.