Before his performance at Varanasi’s famous Sankat Mochan Temple, Pakistani ghazal legend Ghulam Ali said that he was invited in Kashi by Bajrang Bali (Lord Hanuman).
He performed with bhajans composed by legendary Hindu poet and author Goswami Tulsidas at the temple.
Ali performed to a ‘packed house’ at the temple premises in Varanasi on April 26 evening, beginning the show with his famous alaap and a thumari: “Yaad to usey karu jise kabhi bhulaya ho maine”.
As he stepped onto the stage, locals chanted Har Har Mahadev, with raised hands.
He took part in a six day music festival in Varanasi which will see performances of nearly 60 other renowned artistes, said Vishwambhar Nath Mishra, Mahant (head priest) of Sankat Mochan temple.
Prior to his performance, he paid obeisance to Lord Hanuman in Sankat Mochan Mandir and said it was like doing ‘Hukmbardari.’
He told the priest that the kind of internal peace he found at the Sankat Mochan temple during his last performance was “unparalleled”.
It must be noted that his event was cancelled by a Delhi hotel allegedly over a threat by the fringe group Hindu Sena. While cancelling the press interaction, hotel officials allegedly cited threats by the Hindu Sena as well as the Bajrang Dal, an outfit affiliated to the RSS or Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh.
Uttar Pradesh chief minister Akhilesh Yadav has announced that he will honour the ghazal maestro at his official residence in Lucknow on April 27.
The Sankat Mochan Sangeet Samaroh is held every year in the unique setting of the famous Sankat Mochan temple and is almost continuing from past 70-90 years.
The other artistes who are scheduled to perform at the event are Singer Anup Jalota, classical vocalist Pandit Jasraj, classical flautist Pandit Hariprasad Chaurasia, classical singers Rajan and Sajan Mishra, violinist L Subramaniam, Dancer Sonal Mansingh, santoor player Bhajan Sapori, vocalist Pandit Vishwamanth among others.