Mumbai: Pakistani ghazal maestro Ghulam Ali’s concert in the city on Friday was today cancelled after Shiv Sena threatened to disrupt it, warning that no artiste from that country will be allowed to perform in the city till terror emanating from across the border is stopped.
Organisers of the event announced the cancellation after a meeting with Shiv Sena president Uddhav Thackeray this evening at ‘Matoshree’, the Thackeray residence in suburban Bandra.
The decision was taken despite a snub to Sena by Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis who said adequate protection would be provided to Ali and that the concert, organised in memory of late ghazal singer Jagjit Singh, would be held according to schedule.
“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 outside the Matoshree.
A source close to Uddhav Thackeray told PTI that the Sena president asked the organisers to refrain from having any Pakistani artiste perform at such programmes.
Reacting to the development, Ali said the concert was not cancelled from his end. “Atmosphere is not conducive for me to perform,” he said, adding, he wants Indo-Pak ties to improve.
He further said that whenever his fans call him with love, he goes and performs.
“Such controversies spoil people’s ‘sur’ (note). I am not angry, I am hurt. In love, such things don’t happen.”
Describing Jagjit Singh as his “good brother”, Ali said wherever they met and performed, “we were one”.
Justifying the cancellation, Roy said, “Since the situation on the border is not conducive, it is not correct to call and promote any Pakistani singer”.
Shiv Sena said, “Ceasefire violations are taking place unabated and yesterday also four jawans were killed in firing by Pakistan which is continuing to sponsor terrorism in this country.