I’m Ghulam Ali fan; Opposition to art ‘not proper’: Gadkari

As a controversy rages on cancellation of Ghulam Ail’s concert in Mumbai, senior union minister Nitin Gadkari today said he is a fan of the ghazal singer and any opposition to art is “not proper”.

Stating that Pakistan has been indulging in a proxy war with India, Gadkari said there is anguish among people, “but opposition should be of the Pakistan government and not of the art”.

“I am also a fan of Ghulam Ali. I listen to music daily. This (opposition to Pakistan) should not be dragged to the level of artist. Opposition of Pakistan is right but not of Ghulam Ali. This is not proper and I think we should think over it,” the senior BJP leader and Union Minister for Road, Transport, Highways and Shipping said at a press conference here at IWPC (Indian Women’s Press Corps).

Ghulam Ali’s concert planned at Shanmughananda Hall in Mumbai for tomorrow was cancelled last night after Shiv Sena threatened to disrupt the show.

Organisers of the event, planned as a tribute to eminent Ghazal singer Jagjit Singh, had announced the cancellation after a meeting with Uddhav Thackeray.

A number of political parties as also and artistes and people from various walks of life have criticised Shiv Sena’s stand and expressed disappointment at the cancellation of the show, saying cultural exchanges are important elements of bilateral ties between the two countries.

Shiv Sena, however, today said it was not possible to have fun when soldiers are being martyred and that it will continue to “boycott” Pakistan till it stops terror activities.

Asked for his comments on the issue, Gadkari told reporters here that “Pakistan has been indulging in a proxy war in our country”.

“After getting defeated thrice in wars, Pakistan has understood that it can not defeat India in war, so it is exporting militants and militant organisations to India on a large scale.

“(Pakistan) has killed innocent people. There is anguish in people. But opposition should be of Pakistan government and not of the art,” he added.