The Ghulam Ali concert was called off after Uddhav Thackeray and Mayors held a meeting with the show’s organisers.
The concert of leading Pakistani Ghazal singer Ghulam Ali scheduled to be held in Shanmukhananda Hall on October 9 has been cancelled after Sena raised objections against it. Sena always had reservations against Pakistani artists performing in the country. Earlier it had opposed the singer Atif Aslam’s performance in Pune. It had protested against the inclusion of Pakistani television host and cross dresser Begum Nawazish Ali and actor Veena Malik in a reality show. Sena has always adopted an aggressive stand against Pakistan and held it responsible for ceasefire violations across the border. The party’s cine wing, Chitrapat Sena, has declared that they won’t let any Pakistani artist perform in India.
Shiv Sena’s national spokesperson Sanjay Raut said that Sena will oppose cultural and sporting relations with the neighbouring country so long as it refused to curb terrorism. He said, “We are not opposing Ghulam Ali but we are against Pakistan. We will continue to oppose such shows until Pakistan stops sponsoring terror activities from its soil.”
The protests are in relation with the tense ties between Indian and Pakistan, following the continuous and incessant ceasefire violations by Pakistan and the cancellation of the National Security Advisory meeting, this year.
In a letter to the management of the Shanmukha-nanda Hall, Shiv Sena’s film wing “Chitrapat Sena” said if it went ahead with the programme featuring the artist from Pakistan they would have to face the “anger of Shiv Sena and the patriotic people.”
“Through this letter, we want to convey to you that if you invite Pakistan artist 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.
The party would also protest and stop a similar concert scheduled in Pune on October 10 as part of a tribute to late singer Jagjit Singh on his fourth death anniversary.
The 75 year old Ghulam Ali, has sung for many Indian films and has also performed at a concert in Varanasi earlier. The BJP has so far, not reacted to the Sena’s decision to protest against Ali, but the party seems determined to stick to its stand, no matter what its coalition partner says.
On Tuesday, the Shiv Sena, through its mouthpiece Saamana, urged the Centre to display guts and attack Pakistan in retaliation to the cross-border attacks on Indian soldiers and civilians.