Pakistani ghazal singer Ghulam Ali, whose concert in Mumbai was called off after resistance from the Shiv Sena, cancelled all his scheduled performances in the country, saying that he won’t return to India until “things settle down”.
Ghulam Ali expressed his disappointment over recent incidents, but asserted that Indian fans have always welcomed him and his music with open arms.
He told an Indian news channel that he will “not perform until things settle down” and that he was hurt by the politics being played over his concerts
“I’m a singer, I will talk about music, not politics,” he said.
All his scheduled concerts, including the one in Delhi on November 8, and another in Lucknow, have been scrapped. Filmmaker Ashoke Pandit, president of Indian Films & Television Directors’ Association (IFTDA), welcomed Ghulam Ali’s decision.
“I welcome Ghulam Ali’s decision of not coming to India. Hope others will follow him. Now all those who want to listen to the concerts of Ghulam Ali can visit Pakistan,” he tweeted.
The singer, who made an entry into Indian cinema with his popular song “Chupke chupke raat din” for B.R. Chopra’s “Nikaah“, was stopped from performing in Mumbai and in Pune last month after the Shiv Sena threatened to disrupt his concerts. It led to a debate, with artistes from all sections urging that art be kept out of politics.
Back then, Ghulam Ali had said that he was sad, but his admiration for India remains undiminished.