Pakistan-based ghazal maestro Ghulam Ali will perform in Kolkata on January 12, thanks to chief minister Mamata Banerjee extending an invitation immediately after the singer’s concerts were cancelled in Mumbai and Pune on October 8. He was supposed to perform on October 9. Shiv Sena leaders had objected to the idea of a Pakistani artiste singing in Mumbai.
“#Kolkata #Breaking Ghulam Ali and his son to perform in the city on Jan 12 at Park Circus Maidan,” Trinamool Congress Rajya Sabha leader Derek O’Brien tweeted on Tuesday afternoon.
Watch Ghulam Ali perform the famous ghazal Chupke Chupke Raat Din Aansoo Bahana Yaad Hai from Nikaah, originally written by Maulana Hasrat Mohani:
“Pete Seeger performed at a peace concert at Park Circus Maidan #Kolkata in the early 1960s. The music plays on... 2016 Jan 12 Ghulam Ali,” O’Brien added in the next tweet. The Bengal chief minister had, in fact, requested the singer to come to Kolkata in October and perform in a function immediately after the Mumbai show was cancelled.
“I am not angry, but very hurt. I have always got love in India,” Ali had said at that time. The concert was supposed to be held as a tribute to Jagjit Singh. Mamata Banerjee had then expressed her disgust over the cancellation of Ali’s concerts extended an open invitation to perform in Kolkata anytime. Her invitation was also designed to send out the message that Bengal an oasis of communal peace and that the singer had no reason to fear saffron backlash.
“Music has no boundaries. Music is the rhythm of the heart. Ghulam Ali Ji concert can be held in Kolkata. We will make all arrangements,” she tweeted on October 8. Later, while speaking on ‘intolerance’, she had criticised several times the attitude of some people that led to the cancellation of Ali’s concerts.
Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal, too, had joined the chorus with Banerjee and invited Ali to Delhi. Incidentally, Prime Minister Narendra Modi is scheduled to visit Kolkata on January 12 to inaugurate a couple of project relating to the ports.