Mumbai, Oct. 7 (PTI): Pakistani ghazal legend Ghulam Ali's Mumbai concert on October 9 was cancelled today after a meeting between the organisers and the Shiv Sena.
Earlier in the day, the Sena had threatened to disrupt the show even though the Maharashtra government promised action against law breakers. In a letter to the management of the Shamughananda Hall, where the concert was to be held scheduled on Friday in the memory of Jagjit Singh, the Sena's cine wing Chitrapat Sena said the organisers if it went ahead with the show it would have to face the "anger of Shiv Sena and the patriotic people" if they went ahead with the show.
"Through this letter, we want to convey to you that if you invite the Pakistan artiste to the show you will have to face the Shiv Sena's wrath...," the wing's head, Which is why we ask you to prohibit the Pakistan artist from coming to the programme, or else you will have to face the anger of Shiv Sena's and the patriotic people of the country," Chitrapat Sena Vibhag Pramukh Mangesh Satamkar, said in his letter.
Television channel NDTV quoted Ghulam Ali as saying: "My concert was supposed to be a tribute to Indian ghazal maestro Jagjit Singh." Going on to voice his anguish, he said: "I'm not angry, I'm hurt. I've always got a lot of love in India. I only spread love through my music; music is Allah, God, Bhagwan."
In New Delhi, Union minister for minority affairs Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi condemned the Sena's threat. He said: "This is not justified. Ghulam Ali is a messenger of peace. Such messengers of peace should not face restrictions of boundaries."
Boundaries should not be fixed for those giving the message of peace."
The Chitrapat Sena said the Shiv Sena has "always been of the view that Pakistan has been attacking our country to disturb its secular fabric".