Opposing Ghulam Ali’s concert national duty: Shiv Sena

Mumbai, Oct 9 (IANS) The Shiv Sena on Friday justified its opposition to Pakistani ghazal singer Ghulam Ali’s concerts in Maharashtra, saying it was “our national duty” and by doing so the party “paid homage to our martyred soldiers”.

“It was our national duty. We did it and paid homage to our martyred soldiers. Instead of laying wreaths or building memorials to the slain soldiers, we feel it is better to oppose Pakistanis strongly… But, now some people are singing hoarse over this,” the Shiv Sena said in an edit in the party mouthpiece Saamana.

The 75-year-old singer was scheduled to perform in Mumbai and Pune this week as part of the death anniversary tribute to singer Jagjit Singh. But the show in Mumbai was called off on Wednesday after the Shiv Sena threat.

The party acknowledged that Ghulam Ali is a great singer, but he hails from Pakistan and so “his ghazals are stained with the blood of our soldiers”, and those who enjoy such music clearly lack patriotism.

Just a couple of days ago, four Indian soldiers were martyred battling Pakistani terrorists in Jammu and Kashmir. There have been 50 ceasefire violations and 100 firings claiming the lives of 20 Indian soldiers in the past one month, besides a Pakistan minister threatening a nuclear attack on India, the edit said.

“Under these circumstances, those who enjoy the silken-velvety voice of Pakistani ghazal singers must also hear the wails and sobs of the families of the martyred soldiers,” it said.

The party declared that Pakistan was India’s enemy and in the past 65 years had done everything to destroy us with wars, riots, bomb blasts, and terror attacks.

“But have the Pakistani sportsmen or singers even raised an ordinary voice of protest against all this? Political, economic and cultural boycott of Pakistan — that is the only way to crush these scorpions and save our country,” the party said.

The edit claimed that the Thackeray clan has always patronised arts and culture, and that it was not opposed to Pakistani art or artistes. It said they also felt miserable at stopping Ghulam Ali’s performance — but it was actually opposing the anti-India, terrorist neighbour.

“Unfortunately, we are paying the price for being good humans. The Pakistanis come here, sing and dance on our blood, make money and return home…

“We should now concentrate on Pakistani cricket coaches in IPL, the scores of Pakistani artistes invited on various TV channels — even here cross-border ‘sneaking’ has increased… Watch out, you slaves of Pakistan…,” the edit warned.

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