Didi and Delhi offer to host Ghulam Ali concert

Delhi and Kolkata tweet their support to ghazal maestro after Shiv Sena force-cancels his concerts in Mumbai and Pune on Wednesday

New Delhi: The governments of West Bengal and Delhi yesterday offered to host Pakistani ghazal singer Ghulam Ali’s concert, a day after the event was cancelled in Mumbai and Pune because of threats by the Shiv Sena.

Reacting to the issue, Ghulam Ali said, “I am not angry, I am hurt. In love, such things don’t happen.”Reacting to the issue, Ghulam Ali said, “I am not angry, I am hurt. In love, such things don’t happen.”

Inviting the singer to her state, West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee, who is currently on a visit to Bhutan, tweeted, “Music has no boundaries. Music is the rhythm of the heart. Ghulam Ali concert can be held in Kolkata.” She added that her government would make all arrangements for the concert.

Meanwhile, the invite to host the concert in Delhi came from the state’s Culture Minister Kapil Mishra, who is also Tourism Minister. He said that the Pakistani singer is welcome to come to the national capital and hold his concert. The minister alleged that an attempt is being made to vitiate the atmosphere in the country on the basis of religion, caste and boundaries.

Mishra wrote on Twitter, “Sad that #GhulamAli is not being allowed in Mumbai, I invite him to come to Delhi and do the concert. Music has no boundaries. #BanTheBan (sic).” He said that putting restrictions on what one should wear, eat and listen to music is against democracy and there is need to oppose such controversies.

The ghazal maestro’s concert was cancelled in Mumbai and Pune on Wednesday after the Shiv Sena issued a threat, saying that they do not want any artiste from Pakistan to perform in the city until terror emanating from across the border is stopped. Organisers of the event had announced the cancellation after a meeting with Shiv Sena president Uddhav Thackeray.

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 its schedule.

Reacting to the development, Ali had said the concert was not cancelled from his end. “The atmosphere is not conducive for me to perform,” he had said, adding, he wants Indo Pak ties to improve. He further said that whenever his fans call him with love, he goes ahead and performs. “Such controversies spoil people’s ‘sur’ (note). I am not angry, I am hurt. In love, such things don’t happen,” he said .

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