WB, Delhi govts offer to host Ghulam Ali after Shiv Sena forces Mumbai cancellation

Oct 08, 2015, 19:33 IST | Agencies

West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee and Delhi Tourism Minister Kapil Mishra on Thursday offered to host Pakistani ghazal singer Ghulam Ali, a day after his concerts in Maharashtra was called off following threats from the Shiv Sena

Kolkata/New Delhi: The governments of West Bengal and Delhi on Thursday offered to host Pakistani ghazal singer Ghulam Ali's concert, saying music and culture have "no boundaries", a day after the event was cancelled in Mumbai in the face of threats by the Shiv Sena.

"Music has no boundaries. Music is the rhythm of the heart. Ghulam Ali ji concert can be held in Kolkata. We will make all arrangements," Mamata Banerjee tweeted.

In Delhi, the Aam Aadmi Party(AAP) government while inviting Ghulam Ali to perform in Delhi said, "music, art and culture have no boundaries". 

Delhi Culture Minister Kapil Mishra, who is also Tourism Minister in the Arvind Kejriwal government, said the Pakistani singer is welcome to come to the national capital for holding his concert.

The minister alleged that an attempt is being created to vitiate the atmosphere in the country on the basis of religion, caste and boundaries. 

"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)," Mishra wrote on Twitter.

He said that putting restrictions on what one should wear, eat and listen to music is against democracy and there is need to oppose it. 

"I feel that music, art and culture have no boundaries...restriction is being imposed on what one should wear, eat, listen to music and there is need to raise voice against it. In democracy, imposing restrictions is wrong," the Delhi Minister said.

The 75-year-old singer was scheduled to perform in Mumbai and Pune this week as part of the death anniversary tribute to late singer Jagjit Singh. But the shows were called off on Wednesday after Shiv Sena threatened to disrupt his live concert.

The organisers of the Ghulam Ali's concert in Mumbai announced the cancellation late on Wednesday after meeting Shiv Sena president Uddhav Thackeray.

Ali told a news channel that he was "disappointed as people who were interested in the concert were disappointed" and also because it was was a tribute to Jagjit Singh, who was like a brother to him.

"This should not be seen as India-Pakistan issue. Rather it is a symbol of love and affection," he said.

Maharastra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis also expressed his disappointment over the cancellation. He said his government was ready to provide proper security to Ali for the concert.

However, the Shiv Sena defended its stand on the issue and said that people can't have fun specially when innocents are being killed on border on the India-Pakistan border.

"We have encounters going on everywhere, so many ceasefire violations. When this is happening we can't be having fun here...," Shiv Sena leader Aditya Thackeray told reporters in Mumbai.

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