New Delhi: The proposed performance of Pakistani Ghazal virtuoso Ghulam Ali at Sankat Mochan Temple scheduled on April 26 invited opposition from different saffron outfits in the city. While Hindu Yuva Vahni has already announced that it would not allow Ghulam Ali to perform in Kashi, the Shiv Sena has also come with a poster to oppose the singer. (It may be added here that Varanasi is the Parliamentary Constituency where from PM Narendra Modi was elected as MP)
The poster displaying the photographs of Ghulam Ali and deputy chief of state unit of Shiv Sena Ajay Chaubey reads –Shiv Sena’s poster 'Kashi se Ghulam Ali vapas jao' (Ghulam Ali go back from Kashi).
Ghulam Alsi, who had for the first time performed at the Sankat Mochan Sangeet Samaroh at the temple in April 8, 2015, will again render his choicest compositions for the admirers on the inaugural day of the six-day music fest on April 26. As part of Hanuman Jayanti celebrations the Sankat Mochan music festival has been continuing since 1923 at the temple established Goswami Tulsidas, the legendary poet and author of epic Ramcharitmanas. Musicians from across the country take part in this music festival.
The poster displaying the photographs of Ghulam Ali and deputy chief of state unit of Shiv Sena Ajay Chaubey reads -'Kashi se Ghulam Ali vapas jao' (Ghulam Ali go back from Kashi). These posters were pasted in various localities in trans-Varuna area on Friday. "Performance of a singer from Pakistan in Kashi is not acceptable. We will oppose him, and also appeal to others to do so", said Chaubey adding that enmity and friendship would not go together. A former Shiv Sena office member Arun Pathak blamed the organizer for the controversy. He said that instead of offering stage to the Pakistani singer the organisers should invite Indian musicians.
Earlier on Thursday, the divisional unit of HYV announced that it will strongly oppose Ghulam Ali's performance. The HYV divisional president Ambarish Singh said that they would not allow entry of Ghulam Ali and the Pakistani high commissioner to India in the city to take part in Sankat Mochan music festival.
Besides Ghulam Ali, the mahanth of Sankat Mochan temple Vishwambhar Nath Mishra has also invited the Pakistani high commissioner to India Abdul Basit, Prime Minister Narendra Mod and chief minister Akhilesh Yadav to attend the music festival.
"Ghulam Ali is coming here to perform at 'Hanuman Durbar', and he does not need any permission from anybody else. Who are these people to decide who will perform before the deity," wondered Mahanth adding that music can't be confined in geographical boundaries. These people should know that music is the best medium of integration. Banaras is known for its spirituality, and it does not believe in such narrow minded things. Ghulam Ali is a singer of Patiala gharana and was trained by Bade Ghulam Ali Khan's brothers, he said. The Mahanth had also wanted to invite Ghulam Ali after his performance was canceled in Maharasthra owing to the protest of Shiv Sena in October 2015.
Ghulam Ali himself was delighted to perform at the Sankat Mocha temple last year. Sharing his views with the TOI in 2015 he had said that it was the charm of Kashi and its people that made him to be here. "Banaras walon ne itne chahat se bulaya hai toh main itne ache mauke ko miss nahi kar sakta. (It is the call of Banarasi music lovers that I can't afford to miss such a fine opportunity to perform)," he had said.