Pakistani ghazal maestro Ghulam Ali has a massive fan following in Pakistan and also enjoys fanfare, popularity across India. On Friday, Ghulam Ali was scheduled to perform in Mumbai at Shanmukhanand Hall at Matunga, Mumbai. However, things took a turn for the worse when rightist Hindu nationalist party Shiv Sena threatened to protest ‘in their style’ if the concert was not canceled.
Following the threats, Ghulam Ali’s concert was canceled by the organizers. The organizers, named Panache Media, announced the cancellation of the event after a meeting was held with Shiv Sena president Uddhav Thackeray at his residence.
“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.
Roy also informed that Thackeray himself was a huge fan of Ghulam Ali, however, he could not let a Pakistani artist perform at the time due to the current situation at the border.
“Uddhav saab said that even he is a huge fan of Ghulam Ali saab and if the concert had taken place, he would have attended it too. But unfortunately the conditions at the border right now forced them to oppose the concert,” Roy added.
Ghulam Ali also reacted to the situation and stated that he was hurt by the act, not angry at those who had been the cause of his concert being cancelled.
”Such controversies spoil people’s ‘sur’(note). I am not angry, I am hurt. In love, such things don’t happen,” he said. “Atmosphere is not conducive for me to perform at the moment,” said Ghulam Ali.
Through this ugly episode, India has once again demonstrated to the world that it still has to work on some elements which are hell-bent on souring relations with Pakistan.