Days after performing as a state guest in Mamata Banerjee's Kolkata, Ghulam Ali was today received warmly in Kerala where the Pakistani Ghazal maestro was lauded and awarded in a state function.
Chief Minister of Kerala Oomen Chandy, along with other Congress associates, hosted Ghulam Ali in Kerala with the honours of a state guest, even bestowing him with an award. The Pakistani Ghazalist had earlier performed in the city of Kolkata in the TMC-ruled state of West Bengal. Martyr Lt. Colonel Niranjan who died in a bomb blast in Pathankot was originally from Kerala.
However, Ghulam Ali's recent concerts haven't fared as smoothly as his Ghazals. His performances followed the terror attack in Pathankot where seven Indian jawans were killed. After the attack, Pakistan received widespread condemnation for handling terrorists groups in the State with laxity and for its inability to take swift actions into prosecuting the terrorists behind the attack.
Ghulam Ali, who is a public icon in Pakistan and an ambassador, has also been criticized for performing in India amidst the national furore over the Pathankot terror attack. The Ghazalist had previously cancelled all his shows in India after he received a threat from the Shiv Sena party.
Expressing his disapproval over the matter, Colonel RSN Singh said, "I am also a great admirer of Ghazal and Urdu poetry, but there is a time for this kind of cultural interaction. And what we have demonstrated is that this country is not one when it comes to uniting against terror. So if one part of the country . . . major part of the country has not accepted it, you are weakening the resolve of this country. And therefore, this is how politicians defeat our war against terrorism. And I am not surprised, in these two states where the artist Ghulam Ali has found hospitality, they are the ones whose soils are red with terror."
Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal had also invited the Ghazal singer.