Protests by Shiv Sena activists notwithstanding, Pakistani ghazal legend Ghulam Ali on Friday enthralled music…
A music launch event in Mumbai where Pakistani ghazal singer Ghulam Ali was due to attend on Friday was tonight cancelled following opposition from Shiv Sena which had earlier forced the cancellation of his concerts here and in Pune. “The event was going to happen this Friday at ‘The Club’ in Andheri but now it is not happening. It has been cancelled,” TV show host-turned-filmmaker Suhaib Ilyasi told PTI.
Ilyasi said Ali, 75, has cancelled his visit to Mumbai.
Ali was to have arrived here on Thursday to attend the music launch of “Ghar Wapsi”, a movie directed by Ilyasi, the next day. He has sung a patriotic song in the movie apart from acting in it. Ilyasi said a member of the organising committee had gone to ‘The Club’ to deposit the money but claimed he was told that “your booking has been cancelled”. “No reason was given. It is unfortunate that this incident is happening. Even Ghulam Ali sahab is aware of this and he is feeling sad about this,” Ilyasi said.
Ilyasi claimed that the local police and some members of Shiv Sena had threatened the organisers, asking them to cancel the event. When contacted, an official at The Club said there was no such booking. But Ilyasi said he had gone to the venue personally to make the booking.
“They refused to tell us who booked, or what was the event. Our decorator who was working on the event told us that nobody had booked the venue,” he said. “I am hurt, disturbed and feeling very uncomfortable. There are a lot of forces in Mumbai and Maharashtra which do not believe in law and order.” Akshay Badrapurkar, a leader of Chitrapat Sena–Shiv Sena’s film wing–said it is the stated policy of his party to oppose Pakistan artistes.
“In October last year, his concerts (in Mumbai and Pune) were cancelled due to a threat by Shiv Sena. The reason they gave was the tension prevailing between India and Pakistan.” The director said he is yet to get a confirmation from the authorities on his request for security to Ali.
“I am yet to get a confirmation… But I am hopeful I will get it in a day or two. We will proceed only if we have the conformation, until then everything is on stand by.” Ilyasi said his upcoming film will be about the issue of “intolerance” in the country.