Accompanied by welcoming slogans of ‘Salaam Salaam Ghulam Ali’, Pakistani ghazal maestro Ghulam Ali was accorded an arousing reception by the Kerala government on his arrival in the state capital on Thursday.
Arriving as a State Guest in Thiruvananthapuram, the 75-year old singer was warmly welcomed by Minister AP Anil Kumar and CPI(M) politburo member MA Baby who is the patron of the socio-cultural organisation ‘Swaralaya’ which invited him to perform in Kerala.
Ghulam Ali being welcomed at the airport
Ghulam Ali is scheduled to perform in Thiruvananthapuram on January 14 and in Kozhikode on January 17. While the Shiv Sena had banned Ghulam Ali in Mumbai, Chief Minister Oommen Chandy himself declared the artist a state guest.
The concert organized jointly by GKSF (Grand Kerala Shopping Festival) and Swaralaya, an NGO will be inaugurated by the Chief Minister. MA Baby will preside over the event in which opposition leader VS Achutanandan and assembly speaker N Sakthan participating. Chandy and CPI(M) state secretary Kodiyeri Balakrishnan will jointly confer the `Swaralaya Global Legendary' award on Ghulam Ali.
The ghazal legend will also be honoured at a public reception to be held at Mascot Hotel in Thiruvananthapuram on Thursday evening.
The visit comes in the wake of protests by the Shiv Sena which has threatened to disrupt the visit in the backdrop of the Pathankot terror strike.
The state government has reportedly put all security measures in place to ensure the smooth conduct of the programme.