Post Shiv Sena’s forced cancellation of concerts by Pakistani ghazal maestro Ut Ghulam Ali Khan and sufi rock band Mekaal Hassan in Mumbai and Ahmedabad respectively, Delhi seems to be becoming a haven for artistes from across the border.
Days after Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal slammed the Shiv Sena and invited Khan for a concert in Delhi, slated to happen in December, capital-based NGO Routes2Roots has decided to host popular singer Javed Bashir for a concert titled “Music for Peace” on October 18.
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“This whole Ghulam Ali sahab incident really disappointed me, which is also why I have agreed to do this concert. I strongly believe that politics and art should not be merged. The response that my songs have received in India in the past has been more than overwhelming, which proves that people want to listen to good music. I am looking forward to my Delhi concert and hope that it happens without any glitches,” said Bashir in a telephone conversation from Mumbai. However, he has decided against any concert in Mumbai for now due to security reasons.
Bashir, who grew popular after his Coke Studio (Pakistan) outings and songs in Bollywood films such as Bhaag Milkha Bhaag, Kahaani and Cocktail among others, will perform at the India Habitat Centre.
Bashir’s parents hail from Jalandhar and had migrated to Pakistan after Partition.
“My parents’ first home is still Jalandhar and they talk so fondly of it. So it’s actually hard for people like us to understand the politics that happens over us. We are entertainers…why are we always embroiled in controversies for no fault of ours,” said Bashir.
Routes2Roots founder Rakesh Gupta said the organisers should not be caving under threats from political parties. “Art is always for art’s sake…it has only brought the two countries closer in the past. I will be going ahead with the concert on October 18,” said Gupta, who had to cancel a concert by Pakistani singer Sanam Marvi in 2013 after Pakistan Foreign Office voiced concern after a fallout between the two countries over the Line of Control.