Pakistani singer and ghazal maestro Ghulam Ali’s concert, scheduled for this week in Mumbai, was cancelled on Wednesday after threats by the Shiv Sena, which said that it has nothing against the artist but opposes “terrorism spread by Islamabad”.
The Pakistani artist reacted by saying that ”such controversies spoil people’s ‘sur’ (note). I am not angry, I am hurt”.
The organisers, Panache Media, announced that the event was cancelled after a meeting with Sena president Uddhav Thackeray at his residence on Wednesday evening. “Ghulam Ali’s programme has been cancelled. Neither Ghulam Ali nor any Pakistani artiste will be performing at the October 9 event,” organiser Randhir Roy told reporters.
The BJP, which is governing Maharashtra in an alliance with Shiv Sena, distanced itself from the protest. “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.
Meanwhile, the Delhi tourism minister Kapil Mishra denounced the incident and said, “We can have the concert in Delhi, I am sure it will be well recieved... Music and art have no boundary, I feel that the freedom of people is being restricted a lot.”