A ghazal concert of Pakistani singer Ustad Ghulam Ali, scheduled to be held in Mumbai on October 9, was called off on Wednesday, following protests by the Shiv Sena.
The concert, which had been arranged to commemorate the fourth death anniversary of singer and music composer Jagjit Singh, was scheduled to be held at the city's Shanmukhananda Hall on Friday.
According to The Times of India, the party had warned that they would "publicly oppose" the concert. Ali's concert in Pune on October 10 has also been cancelled.
â€śAlthough the concert is cultural in nature, the neighbouring country to which he (Ali) belongs has for several days been indulging in firing on India's border,â€ś Akshay Bardapurkar of the Sena's film wing, Chitrapat Sena, told TOI.
Calling the episode "unfortunate", Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis said that there was no need to drag politics into culture."My government is willing to give full protection to Aliâ€™s concert in Mumbai. The show must go on. It is unfortunate to drag a world-class, renowned ghazal singer into Indo-Pakistan politicsâ€¦ Pakistan artists are always welcome. Our singers and actors also go to Pakistan and perform. We should respect each otherâ€™s culture and talent. Why bring politics into culture?â€ť Fadnavis was quoted as saying by The Indian Express.
However, despite the CM's assurance to provide protection to Ali's concert, Panache Media, the organizers of the concert decided to cancel it after a meeting with Shiv Sena president Uddhav Thackeray, states TOI.
"I'm not angry but very hurt. I have always got love in India. The concert was a tribute to Jagjit Singh. He was like a brother to me," Ghulam Ali told NDTV. "Such controversies spoil the sur of music," the ghazal legend added.