The Aam Aadmi Party on Thursday invited noted Pakistani ghazal singer Ghulam Ali to perform in Delhi after his concerts in Mumbai and Pune were cancelled following threats from the Shiv Sena.
Delhi Tourism Minister Kapil Mishra sent across an invitation to the acclaimed ghazal singer on his Twitter account. "Sad that Ghulam Ali is not being allowed in Mumbai. I invite him to come to Delhi and do the concert. Music has no boundaries," he tweeted with the hashtag 'bantheban'.
He conveyed the willingness of the Delhi government to organise the Ghulam Ali concert in Delhi while speaking to the media. "We can have the concert in Delhi, Im sure it will be well recieved," he told ANI.
"Music and art has no boundary, I feel that the freedom of people is being restricted a lot," he added.
— Kapil Mishra (@KapilMishraAAP) October 8, 2015
We can have the concert in Delhi, Im sure it will be well recieved: Delhi Tourism Minister Kapil Mishra on Ghulam Ali pic.twitter.com/ki2oq7qbiD
— ANI (@ANI_news) October 8, 2015
Music & art has no boundary, I feel that the freedom of people is being restricted a lot: Delhi Tourism Minister Kapil Mishra on Ghulam Ali — ANI (@ANI_news) October 8, 2015
The 75-year-old Pakistani singer was scheduled to perform in Mumbai and Pune on 9 and 10 October, respectively, in memory of the late Indian ghazal singer Jagjit Singh. The organisers, however, cancelled the concert on Wednesday night after meeting Sena president Uddhav Thackeray.
Ghulam Ali concert that was to take place in Pune on 10th October cancelled.
— ANI (@ANI_news) October 8, 2015
The Shiv Sena had threatened to protest if the concert was not cancelled. "We have met and asked authorities at Shanmukhananda Hall, Matunga, to cancel the show proposed to be held on October 9, failing which we shall protest in our own style," Shiv Sena's film wing Chitrapat Sena president Aadesh Bandekar had told IANS.
The Shiv Sena said their demand for cancellation was against the backdrop of constant ceasefire violations across the border. "We respect the art and artistes of Pakistan. However, we are strongly against any form of cultural association with that country since it regularly kills our soldiers and civilians in attacks from across the borders," Bandekar said.
The party, which is in power in Maharashtra along with the BJP, had threatened to protest even if the concert was organised in other parts of the country. The concert was cancelled despite Maharashtra chief minister Devendra Fadnavis' assurance of protection to the ghazal maestro.
Ghulam Ali 'hurt'
The Pakistani singer said he was hurt with the cancellation as it was a tribute to Jagjit Singh, who he said, was like his brother. He said that he only wants to spread the message of love and peace through his music.
"I'm not angry, but I'm a bit hurt and sad. But there are can be sad moments in love as well. I don't know why such situations and conflicts arise. We have performed in Mumbai on several occasion before and people have always showered their love on us. Whenever such news come out, it causes commotion in society," Ghulam Ali told NDTV, according to IANS report.
"The programme was important for me as it marked Jagjit's death anniversary. And that's why I got tense and thought that the move was wrong. It shouldn't have happened. Jagjit was like a brother to me and whenever I met him we looked like one, not from India or Pakistan," he said.
"We spread love with our music across the globe and have always tried to do this in my 45-year-old career. I'm only hungry for love," he added.