Shiv Sena strikes again: Ghazal maestro Ghulam Ali's concert cancelled after party threatens to disrupt show
The Shiv Sena on Wednesday demanded cancellation of the proposed live concert of Pakistani ghazal maestro Ghulam Ali in Mumbai on 9 October.
Mumbai: The proposed live concert of Pakistani ghazal maestro Ghulam Ali scheduled for 9 October in Mumbai was cancelled on Wednesday after Chitrapat Sena, the Shiv Sena's film wing, met the authorities at Shanmukhanand Hall, the venue of the concert, and handed them a letter asking them to cancel the event.
"Through this letter, we want to convey to you that if you invite the Pakistan artiste to the show you will have to face the Shiv Sena's wrath...Which is why we ask you to prohibit the Pakistan artist from coming to the programme, or else you will have to face the anger of Shiv Sena's and the patriotic people of the country," Chitrapat Sena Vibhag Pramukh Mangesh Satamkar said in his letter.
"We are completely against any form of cultural ties with Pakistan. The country is against us and kills our soldiers, so there’s no point why we should let their singer perform here. If the concert is not called off, we will protest in our own style," said Akshay Badrapurkar, general secretary of Chitrapat Sena.
Another Sena leader said though his party was in the government, it would not allow the concert in Mumbai. “We have always opposed the performance of Pakistani artists in India to protest its ceasefire violations along the Line of Control (LoC),” said Mangesh Satamkar, senior Sena leader.
The concert was a tribute to late singer Jagjit Singh on his fourth death anniversary and had been brought to India through 'Ek Ehsaas' concerts.
In April this year, Ghulam Ali, 74, who lent voice to a number of Indian film songs, had held a concert at the famous Sankat Mochan temple in Varanasi, Prime Minister Narendra Modi's constituency. Incidentally, Shanmukhananda Hall, has been a favourite venue for all major Shiv Sena functions for several decades.
“We have asked the organisers to submit an undertaking by today evening along with the supporting letters from senior police officials. If they fail to do so, then we will cancel the concert. I don’t want any ruckus here,” Leo Francis, the hall booking manager of the Shanmukhnand Hall, had earlier said.
However, following the Shiv Sena’s threat, the BJP, which holds the ministry of Home, said action would be taken against anybody who tries to take law into their hands. "The organisers or the management of the Shanmukhananda Hall have not lodged any formal complaint as yet. Once they do, action will be taken. Law will take its own course," said Ranjeet Patil, Minister of State Home (Urban).
In New Delhi, Union minister Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi voiced disagreement with Sena's threat, saying, "This is not justified. Ghulam Ali is a messenger of peace. Such messengers of peace should not face restrictions of boundaries. Boundaries should not be fixed for those giving the message of peace."
This is not the first time that the Sena is opposing Pakistani artists performing in India. Earlier, it had protested against Pakistani singer Atif Aslam's concert and the Pakistan cricket team playing in India. It had also protested against the inclusion of Pakistani television host and cross dresser Begum Nawazish Ali and actor Veena Malik in a reality show and disrupted the press conference of a Sufi music band in Mubmbai last year.
(With inputs from PTI)
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