Amidst the controversy surrounding the cancellation of renowned Pakistani ghazal maestro Ghulam Ali's concert in Mumbai, the country's censor board chief has expressed his disappointment and hoped that "the Indian government will act responsibly".
"It is extremely sad and disappointing that art, music and sports are being subjected to politics of intolerance, hate and one upmanship in the 21st century," Fakhr-e-Alam, chairman of Pakistan's Central Board of Film Censors (CBFC), told IANS.
"I hope Indian government will act responsibly and the world's largest secular democracy will raise itself above people's dietary choices," he added.
Fakhr-e-Alam, who himself is a singer and actor, also said that “such primitive mindsets will keep progress as a hostage”.
The "Hangama hai kyon barpa" singer, who has been spreading waves of peace and harmony across borders with his music since past 45 years, was scheduled to perform in Mumbai and Pune this week as part of the fourth death anniversary tribute to late singer Jagjit Singh. But the show in Mumbai was called off on Wednesday after Shiv Sena threatened to disrupt his live concert.
Meanwhile, the 75-year-old, who made an entry in Indian cinema with his popular song "Chupke chupke raat din" for B.R. Chopra's "Nikaah" in 1982, expressed his disappointment over the scrapping of the concert, saying he is not angry, but a bit hurt and sad.
The ghazal singer emphasised that borders between countries cannot restrict the music from streaming into the hearts of people.
"I would like to tell Indians to remain in 'sur', love each other and keep listening to us -- be it live or recorded," the veteran told a leading News channel.
Despite the cancellation causing a stir in the society, the youth wing of the Shiv Sena on Thursday said it won't be proper to host shows by Pakistani artistes in India as long as tensions continued on the India-Pakistan borders.