Under attack from political and cultural quarters for forcing cancellation of ghazal maestro Ghulam Ali’s concert in Mumbai, Shiv Sena said on Thursday it will continue to “boycott” Pakistan till it stops terror activities.
Maintaining that it is difficult to remain insensitive to the sufferings of Indian soldiers due to “ceasefire violations” by Pakistan, Sena’s youth wing chief Aditya Thackeray said, “We cannot have fun here when our soldiers are suffering.”
“We all enjoy Ghulam Ali songs. But we need some sensitivity towards soldiers. Ceasefire violations are happening every day. We cannot have fun here when our soldiers are suffering,” Aditya told reporters.
“Terrorism and culture cannot go hand in hand. We are not against his music or art. But can we cannot enjoy when our soldiers are suffering”, said Aditya, Yuva Sena chief and son of Shiv Sena president Uddhav Thackeray.
Asked about protection offered to the show by Maharashtra chief minister Devendra Fadnavis, the Yuva Sena leader shot back, “CM should first provide security to the people of the state and then talk about providing security to a concert.”
“People are getting affected by terrorist activities in Jammu and Kashmir. Until this terrorism is stopped, there should not be any talk with Pakistan and that country should be boycotted till then”, he said.
Ghulam Ali’s concert, scheduled to be held at Shanmughananda Hall on Friday, was cancelled on Wednesday after Shiv Sena threatened to disrupt the show.
Organisers of the event, planned as a tribute to eminent ghazal singer Jagjit Singh, announced the cancellation after a meeting with Uddhav Thackeray.
Ghulam Ali had earlier performed in Mumbai as a tribute to Jagjit Singh, along with several singers from India.
The Congress and NCP also attacked Sena for forcing the cancellation of the concert.
Apart from triggering sharp reactions from artistes and intellectuals in India, Pakistan high commissioner Abdul Basit also expressed disappointment at the cancellation and said cultural exchanges are important elements of bilateral ties, which Pakistan “encourages”.
Shiv Sena leader Sanjay Raut said in Mumbai on Thursday that they “have paid tributes to the martyred Indian soldiers with the cancellation of Ghulam Ali’s concert”.
Watch | Pak singer Ghulam Ali reacts to Mumbai concert cancellation