In wake of yesterday’s incident at BCCI headquarters in Mumbai Ghulam Ali has cancelled his Delhi concert
that was scheduled for November 8. Shiva Sena workers had barged into the BCCI office
to protest against the talks between Pakistan Cricket Board chief Shahryar Khan and BCCI president Shashank Manohar over resumption of bilateral cricketing ties. Randheer Ranjan Roy, business head and founder of Panache Media, which was at the helm of Khan’s Mumbai concert, said:
“It’s now confirmed that Ghulam Ali sahab will not be performing at the Delhi concert. He has categorically told me today in a conversation from Lahore that he is not willing to perform.”
Roy added that the last few days have been tough on Ghulam Ali in a country where he has sung for the last 50 years. Ali also conveyed it to Roy that the Delhi government has been intimated about the same.
“Shahryar Khan is close friends with Ustad Ghulam Ali and he is also disappointed by the treatment meted out to his friend. Khan (Ghulam Ali) sahab said he is also concerned about his own government’s reaction if he visits again. He is saying he will return once the situation becomes normal,” said Roy. He added the ghazal maestro had also declined to perform at a concert in Bangalore in February. Earlier, his concert in Maharashtra was called off
following threats from Shiv Sena, which left the ghazal singer “hurt”.
While the AAP government gained brownie points for inviting Ghulam Ali to perform in Delhi, it has come to light that the event was already pre-planned.
One of the Ghulam Ali’s Delhi-based patrons said the concert was actually a ticketed event that had been planned by a publication much before the Shiv Sena controversy broke out. He added:
“They comfortably took the credit for the concert which had already been planned. Khan (Ghulam Ali) is just a pawn in this controversy right now and that is what has upset him the most, which is why he has decided to not visit Delhi.”
But Kapil Sharma, Delhi tourism minister, stuck to the government’s earlier statement and said:
“We had requested that he sing in Delhi and that is exactly what he will be doing. We are sticking to the same date and Khan (Ghulam Ali) sahab will be there for the performance… There is no change in that.”
He added that the entry is free and the concert will not be ticketed.