Ghazal maestro Ghulam Ali’s concert in Mumbai has been canceled following the objection raised by BJP ally Shiv Sena. Organisers canceled the concert after they met Shiv Sena Chief Uddhav Thackeray today.
Reacting to the cancellation, the musical maestro said, “I’m not angry but very hurt. I have always got love in India.”
“The concert was a tribute for Jagjit Singh. He was like a brother to me”, he told NDTV, adding, “Such controversies spoil the sur of music.”
The program was scheduled to be held in Mumbai and Pune, this week, as part of the fourth death anniversary tribute to the late ghazal singer Jagjit Singh.
“Our meeting was good with Uddhav. The program will take place but Ghulam Ali is not coming for the program,” Randhir Ranjan Roy, the organiser, said.
“The programme was important for me as it marked Jagjit’s death anniversary. And that’s why I got tense and thought that the move was wrong. It shouldn’t have happened. Jagjit was like a brother to me and whenever I met him we looked like one, not from India or Pakistan,” the vetaran singer said.
Ally BJP, however, slammed the Shiv Sena’s ban. Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis call Sena’s actions “unfortunate”. “My government is willing to give full protection to Ali’s concert in Mumbai. The show must go on. It is unfortunate to drag a world-class, renowned ghazal singer into Indo-Pakistan politics…Pakistan artists are always welcome. Our singers and actors also go to Pakistan and perform. We should respect each other’s culture and talent. Why bring politics into culture?”
Meanwhile, Congress leader Digvijaya Singh also attacked Shiv Sena for the ban. He said Shiv Sena wants to become Indian Taliban.
“If Ghulam Ali could sing in Sankat Mochan Temple in Varanasi why not in a function in Mumbai? Shiv Sena wants to become Indian Taliban,” the Congress general secretary tweeted.
The congress leader also hit out at both the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and the Uddhav Thackeray-led Shiv Sena by saying that they are using religion for politics and extortion. “Is Shiv Sena bigger protector of our religion than Brahmins of Varanasi? They and BJP/Sangh are using Religion for Politics and extortion,” he said.