After a major controversy broke out over Bollywood stars performing at the recently concluded Saifai Mahotsav in Etawah, the Aligarh district administration has dropped its plan to organise a similar ‘Bollywood night’ and item numbers at ‘Aligarh Numaish’ starting January 22.
Aligarh Numaish is an annual event being organised there for the past 134 years by a committee headed by the district magistrate. Additional district magistrate (City) is in-charge of Numaish.
The ‘Bollywood night’ and item numbers have been the main attraction for people visiting the event over the years.
But, sources confirmed, the administration has decided to drop both the programmes from the 25-day event and not to call Bollywood artistes this time to avoid any controversy, like the one the Akhilesh Yadav government faced during Saifai Mahostav.
Aligarh, a Muslim-dominated district, is close to Muzaffarnagar where riots affected thousands of lives.
Saifai Mahostav had drawn criticism for the money spent lavishly on performances by Bollywood stars when riots victims were facing problems in relief camps.
In the past several years, the district administration had been inviting Bollywood actors and models to perform at the event.
ADM City Dheerendra Singh Sachan told The Indian Express, “There will be no Bollywood night and item numbers in Numaish this year. Item dance used to be performed as fillers between separate programmes.”
He refused to give a specific reason for the change in the event. He, however, said playback singers KK, Shilpa Rao and Bhumi Trivedi will perform at the event.
He said other events like ghazals, mushairas, bhajan and kavi sammelans will be organised. Folk music and dance performers from Assam, Manipur, Andhra Pradesh and Himachal Pradesh have been invited to perform at Numaish.