New Delhi: The music launch of Pakistani ghazal maestro Ghulam Ali-starrer "Ghar Wapsi" was today cancelled with the director claiming there were security threats.
However, the management of Royal Plaza where the event was to be held this afternoon said it was cancelled as there was "no information about it" and also "no documentation".
The film's director Suhaib Illyasi claimed he received a call from Vishnu Gupta of Hindu Sena threatening to disrupt the event.
"It is regrettable that Ghulam Ali's music launch has been cancelled by the hotel management. We were told not to keep the event here as they feared that people from Vishwa Hindu Parishad and Hindu Sena would disrupt it and destroy hotel property," he told reporters here.
Police personnel were deployed outside the venue and even detained a few men who were chanting "Bharat Mata Ki Jai". A few of them said they were volunteers of Hindu Sena. The director plans to reschedule the launch but is yet to decide where it will be organised.
"We will surely organise the launch again. I knew such an incident could happen that's why we had written to Delhi Police and the home ministry to provide us security and I am happy that Indian government and the police did their best.
Despite this, the hotel has decided to call off the event." Former Samajwadi Party leader Amar Singh, who claimed he was invited to the event but not allowed to go inside, said, "Today is a blot on culture and tradition. It is a black day.
If in free India, someone is troubled because he is a Khan or someone in Pakistan is heckled because he is a Mishra or Chaubey then what is the difference between India and Pakistan."
The music release of "Ghar Wapsi" was cancelled in January following Shiv Sena's opposition in Mumbai. Ali, 75, whose several concerts in India had to be cancelled last year following Sena threats, is making his acting debut with the Hindi feature film set to release in June.
Besides acting, the singer has also composed and sung an Indian patriotic song for the movie. The film also stars Alok Nath, Farida Jalal, Reema Lagoo, Deepak Tijori and Zarina Wahab. Singers like Sunidhi Chauhan, Sonu Nigam and Shaan have also lent their voice in the film.
Amar Singh condemns treatment towards Ghulam Ali
New Delhi: Former Samajwadi Party leader Amar Singh on Monday condemned the cancellation of an event where Pakistani ghazal maestro Ghulam Ali had to launch the music of Indian film "Ghar Wapsi" here.
The management of a hotel in central Delhi cancelled the music launch at the eleventh hour when some people protesting against the presence of Ghulam Ali, who has not only sung but also acted in the Suhaib Ilyasi directorial.
Amar Singh, who also has a part to play in the movie, said the treatment meted out to the celebrated singer is "extremely disappionting".
Even with a large police force guarding the venue, a bunch of protestors came forward to threaten the management of the hotel, chanting slogans like "Ghulam Ali muradabad" and disrupted the event.
When Amar Singh reached the venue, he was stopped outside the gates of the hotel.
Asked to comment on the cancellation of the event, Singh told reporters here that nobody can stop Ghulam Ali from doing his work and from showcasing his talent.
"You cannot bind Ghulam Ali in borders and religion... How can anyone stop Ghulam Ali's art? We detest this whole episode and the treatment, it is extremely disappointing," he said.
He added that Ghulam Ali's music is evergreen, and it is something that will keep him alive for generations altogether.
When the hotel's management was questioned about why the press conference and music launch event was cancelled, a representative told IANS: "We are just doing our job."
This latest cancellation of the film's music launch follows the January 29 cancellation of the event in Mumbai after reported threats.