Bengaluru: In a sign that the hate brigade is not far from the IT capital's doors, a concert by Pakistani classical singer Shafqat Amanat Ali, which was scheduled for Friday in the city, was cancelled after VHP and Bajrang Dal activists asked Bengaluru police not to allow the concert.
The two right wing organisations, taking a cue from the Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS) that had sought a ban on Pakistani artistes, sent a letter to the Adugodi police on Tuesday threatening protests.
The letter stated that it was condemnable to host a Pakistani singer when 18 Indian soldiers had died in Uri in an attack carried out by Pakistan-based terrorists. "It would be unpatriotic and insulting to the martyred soldiers if the concert goes ahead. We will strongly protest if our request is not heeded," the letter read.
Following the turn of events, Forum Mall, which had organised the concert in association with Radio Mirchi, stated that no concert featuring Pakistani artistes would be held and that Shafqat Amanat Ali's concert stands cancelled. It also stated that Forum Mall had asked Radio Mirchi to abstain from organising any event that would feature artistes from Pakistan.
A Forum Mall spokesperson told Deccan Chronicle, "We have sent a clarification to the Adugodi police, stressing that the concert has been cancelled."
Mr Naveen Phillip, a music aficionado from the city, said, "I am disappointed that concerts are being cancelled in the name of politics."
Bengaluru-based rapper BradhaV said, "Of course I don't like it. Music and art should not be mixed with politics. Music is above everything. Look at what Michael Jackson's music did, it brought people from all religions, race and ethnicity together. But this is a very sensitive national issue and we must tread carefully."
Shafqat Amanat Ali
I am repeatedly being asked questions on this today by media in both #India and #Pakistan, so here is what I would like to share with you all - It is a very sad and tough time for the people of both the countries. I think the artists’ fraternity should not be involved in these matters as all artists are only about spreading peace and love & bringing people closer. Needless to mention, certain people want to sabotage the peace process, projects and such initiatives. We should recognise these negative forces and not play according to their agendas. We must refrain from any kind of decisions that will support that certain group’s goals.