The singer who has charmed his way into the hearts of Pakistanis and Indians had to cancel his event because of strong opposition from India’s far-right regional political party. “The neighbouring country is sending terrorists to India, blasting bombs, attacking our Parliament, then how do we welcome their artistes,” Chitrapat Sena (party’s cinema wing) leader Adesh Bandekar told Asian Age.
Organizer of the event Sanjay Sathe was in agreement of Adesh’s statement and told NDTV, “We are from the field of arts, we wanted to do it, but then the intention behind the cancellation is totally appropriate.” He further added, “We shall always remain patriotic. As Balasaheb has said ‘Be patriotic and put the nation first’, and thereby, at the larger level we had to cancel the show.”
There was a general consensus when it came to the show’s cancellation. “Shiv Sena has always been against Pakistan and the motive behind canceling the event is to show that Pakistan is traitor. The organizers praised our stand and with a big heart scrapped the event,” said Hadapsar MLA Mahadev Babar.
Over 1000 tickets for the event had been sold, which will be refunded. Surprisingly, the political party has yet to protest against Atif’s next performance scheduled in Ahmedabad on May 10.
According to Asian Age, this is not the first time that the Sena has opposed performances by Pakistani artistes in India. They had earlier opposed noted singer Gulam Ali and the Meekal Hasan Band who were supposed to perform at the Mumbai Press Club. It had also protested against the inclusion of Pakistani television host and cross-dresser Begum Nawazish Ali and actor Veena Malik in the show Big Boss in 2010. It also disrupted a Sindhi Sufi music show in Delhi in 2014.
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