New Delhi: Pakistani ghazal maestro Ghulam Ali wonders why his debut role in Hindi film "Ghar Wapsi" has become an issue of debate, saying it's just a coincidence that he has sung a song and plays a special role in the movie.
He also denies that his acting debut is a publicity stunt for the Shoaib Illyasi-directed movie. Ali, 75, has a special appearance besides singing a patriotic song in the film.
Its music launch in Mumbai and in the capital was cancelled following protests and threats from some groups, which objected the film's subject as well as Ali's casting.
Asked if his name is being used as a publicity tool by Illyasi, Ali told PTI, "It is not the case. If people think that my name is being used in the film for a publicity stunt then it is a wrong notion. It is just a coincidence that I sang a song and did a special role in the film. I don't know why it has been made an issue. I don't understand why my participation in the film has become a political issue. It is not supposed to happen."
The singer, whose concerts in India had to be cancelled last year following Sena threats, says he is pained to see people resorting to protests against his film debut but hopes that the issue is only temporary.
"I don't know why this is happening. I think some people have made protesting their habit. That is their way and it is fine with me. I think all this is temporary and it will pass soon."
When asked if the film was anti-Hindu, Ali said, "If people are trying to put it like that then it is wrong. The movie is a patriotic project aimed at making people realise the worth of their country. I have always believed in spreading joy."
Besides Ali, no other Pakistani artiste in recent times has faced such widespread protest. "I think people feel if they irritate me then that way they will be able to make headlines. It is not a nice way to grab headlines. I don't endorse it," he said.
Despite the cancellation of several of his concerts, Ali is undeterred and says he is open to take part in music events in India whenever people invite him.
"Wherever people will call me I will reach. I don't think any person can stop a performer unless the almighty wants."
When asked if he is open to acting in more films, Ali said "Ghar Wapsi" will be his only film venture as he wants to keep on singing. "This is the last time. My job is not acting, my job is singing."