Ghulam Ali concert row: Subramanian Swamy hits back at Shiv Sena's critics

Subramanian Swamy has taken on the critics of Shiv Sena, protesting against the party for not allowing Pakistani singer Ghulam Ali to perform in Maharashtra.

By Tarun Khanna | Updated: Oct 08, 2015, 19:49 PM IST
Ghulam Ali concert row: Subramanian Swamy hits back at Shiv Sena's critics

New Delhi: BJP's firebrand leader Subramanian Swamy on Thursday took on the critics of Shiv Sena who are protesting against the party for not allowing Pakistani singer Ghulam Ali to perform in Maharashtra.

Putting forth some facts from the past, Swamy took to Twitter and wrote, “Why criticise Shiv Sena for seeking to block Pakistani singer? Israeli Philharmonic Orchestra was once banned from coming to India by seculars (sic).”

In 2011, Indian maestro Zubin Mehta's performance with the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra at The Proms in London was picketed and interrupted by pro-Palestinian protesters.

In 2013 hard-line Hurriyat Conference leader Syed Ali Shah Geelani had called for a general strike in Kashmir Valley on September 7 to protest against his concert.

After the Shiv Sena threatened to disrupt and warned that no artiste from Pakistan will be allowed to perform in Maharashtra, Pakistani ghazal maestro Ghulam Ali's concert was cancelled.

Organisers of the event announced the cancellation after a meeting with Shiv Sena president Uddhav Thackeray this evening at 'Matoshree', the Thackeray residence in suburban Bandra.

The decision was taken despite a snub to Sena by Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis who said adequate protection would be provided to Ali and that the concert, organised in memory of late ghazal singer Jagjit Singh, would be held according to schedule.

"Ghulam Ali's programme has been cancelled. Neither Ghulam Ali nor any Pakistani artiste will be performing at the October 9 event," organiser Randhir Roy told reporters outside the Matoshree.

(With PTI inputs)