A day after the Shiv Sena forced the cancellation of a concert by Pakistani ghazal singer Ghulam Ali in Mumbai, the Aam Aadmi Party government Thursday extended an invite to the singer to perform in the national capital.
Condemning the incident, senior AAP leader Ashutosh said that the cancellation of the event was not only an insult to the singer but also to Jagjit Singh, as the Pakistani singer was scheduled to pay tribute to the late singer on his fourth death anniversary.
“The Shiv Sena only has the courage to pick on soft targets like singers and artists. If it really had such serious issues with pro-Pakistan elements, it should have raised its voice against the BJP-PDP alliance in Jammu and Kashmir. Also, why did it not protest when Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif was attending Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s oath taking ceremony,” asked Ashutosh.
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“The ruling BJP-Shiv Sena state government has put an unforgivable blot on Mumbai’s all-inclusive nature…The AAP government in Delhi invites Ghulam Ali to perform here. We have immense respect for his talent and his spirit of universal love and would like him to give India a chance to atone for the insult caused by the small-minded, political opportunism of the Shiv Sena and BJP,” he said.
Targeting Aditya Thackeray, who had defended the Sena’s stance, Ashutosh said, “All of us have seen photographs of the Thackeray family with Pakistani cricketers. What is even more ironic is that on September 20, Aditya Thackeray spoke at an event in Mumbai, where Pakistani singer Rahat Fateh Ali Khan performed. Less than 20 days later, he gives statements that there can be no cultural ties with Pakistan.
We request the media to ask him if it is okay for Pakistani artists to perform at private/corporate functions attended by the Thackeray family but not at shows where the common man can attend? This blatant hypocrisy goes to show that these bans and threats are ploys used by Sena to divide people and appease their vote banks”.