Pakistani ghazal singer Ghulam Ali, who was scheduled to perform on December 3 during the annual Lucknow Mahotsav, has cancelled his concert. The singer, who said he was perturbed by the “politics” over his concert in Mumbai after protests by Shiv Sena, said he will not return to India until “things settle down” and cancelled all his engagements in India with immediate effect.
In an interview to a TV channel on Wednesday evening, Ghulam Ali said he was disappointed with the recent protests over his concerts in India, especially since he had always been received warmly in India by the fans of his music. He said, “I have cancelled all my future concerts in India. I will not perform until things settle down. I’m hurt by the recent incidents in India. As of now, I have decided not to come to India. Indian fans have been very supportive. I’m a singer, I will talk about music, not politics,” the singer told the news channel.
On Wednesday evening, however, the district administration had still not received word on Ghulam Ali’s cancellation. District magistrate Raj Shekhar, said, “While we have heard the news of the cancellation of Ghulam Ali’s concert in Lucknow in the media, the district administration is not, as yet, in receipt of any official word in this regard. We have asked the event managers to get an official confirmation of the same.”
Following the cancellation of his concerts in Mumbai and Pune, Ghulam Ali was extended an invite to perform in New Delhi by chief minister Arvind Kejriwal and West Bengal CM Mamata Banerjee. The Ghazal maestro was also felicitated by Uttar Pradesh CM Akhilesh Yadav, after which he performed at a private function in Lucknow last month. Subsequently, Ghulam Ali confirmed his participation in the annual Lucknow Mahotsav, a cultural extravaganza organised by the Lucknow district administration.