English: Ghulam Ali, picture taken with a Cann...

English: Ghulam Ali, picture taken with a Cannon Powershot S2 IS in a concert at Rock Heights, Hyderabad, on April 6, 2007 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Press Release:



 Cultural Personalities Condemn Communal Forces Preventing Ghulam Ali from Singing in Mumbai

We, the following writers, artists, film makers, poets, musicians, dancers, theatre  persons and art lovers  strongly condemn the act of the Shiv Sena preventing the renowned singer Ustad Ghulam Ali from singing in Mumbai. The concert was organised in order to commemorate the death anniversary of Jagjit Singh, another very well-known ghazal singer.

Born in 1940 in British India, Ghulam Ali was a disciple of Bade Ghulam Ali Khan. After Independence Ghulam Ali endeared himself to the entire Indian subcontinent as well as other parts of the world with his inimitable music. “Chup ke chup ke raat din”, “Kal chaudhvin ki raat thi” and “Hungama hai kyun barpa” are a few of his the celebrated ghazals. Ghulam Ali has enriched Indian movies also with his majestic music and is placed in the long tradition of musicians on the Indian subcontinent who transcend all political boundaries.

We strongly protest against the prevention of Ghulam Ali from singing to his fans in India as this violates the fundamental rights granted to every Indian citizen by the Constitution. Cancellation of Ghulam Ali concert is a violation of freedom of expression guaranteed under Article 19 of the Constitution of India (b) to assemble peacefully and without arms. We consider the blocking of Ustad Ghulam Ali’s access to Indian audiences as a grave threat to the secular and democratic tradition in India. We also express our deep shock at the inability of the Maharashtra government as well as the Indian government to step in immediately to facilitate the concert. We assess this as a national shame.

South Asia is a nuclear flash point with both India and Pakistan possessing nuclear weapons. This tension can be diffused to great extend through people to people friendship and cultural exchanges. Music is borderless.  People in India  & Pakistani listen to ghazals beyond the borders. Ustad Ghulam Ali is a cultural icon revered both in India and Pakistan. As music lovers, we are aware that music can diffuse conflicts. By preventing Ghulam Ali from singing in India, the fascist forces are trying to spread hatred between the people of two countries. We condemn the design of these forces and we stand for peace and harmony between the people of India and Pakistan.

We, the citizens of India would also like to extend our sincere apologies to Ustad Ghulam Ali  for the humiliation and harassment he has had to undergo due to the ban on his performance. We would like to assure him that his songs of love will be listened to, sung and disseminated in every corner of this country in response to the denial of his performance by the cultural fascists. We firmly believe that great music transcends all linguistic, caste, religious, geographical and political borders. We refuse to accept that any government or fanatical outfit has the authority to ban anyone’s music from being heard.

We demand the Government of India to take immediate measures to uphold the rights of both performers and audiences to share various cultural art forms and safeguard them from the growing phenomenon of sectarian hatred and communalisation. We also demand the Government of India and in particular the Minister of Information and Broadcasting to condemn the banning of a great artist’s music in the country and offer apologies to Ustad Ghulam Ali on behalf of the people of India.

Endorsed by

  1. Mahesh Bhatt ( Film Maker)
  2. Mallika Sarabhai (Dancer )
  3. Anand Patwardhan (Film maker, Mumbai)
  4. Teesta Setalvad (Editor, Communalism Combat, Mumbai)
  5. K Satchidanandan (Poet & Critic)
  6. Romila Thapar (Historian)
  7. Ashok Vajpayee ( Poet & Writer)
  8. Gita Hariharan ( Writer)
  9. Apoorvanand ( Writer & Academician )
  10. Neela Bhagwat (Classical musician)
  11. TP Rajeevan (Poet & Novelist, Kerala)
  12. Balachandran Chullikkad (Poet, Kerala)
  13. Rafeeq Ahamed (Poet & Lyricist , Kerala)
  14. Paul Zakaria (Writer, Kerala)
  15. Bijipal (Music Director)
  16. Vaisakhan (Writer, Kerala)
  17. P Surendran (Writer, Kerala)
  18. Shihabudheen Poithumkadavu (Writer & Editor, Kerala)
  19. KP Sasi (Film Maker, Bangalore)
  20. Rajiv Ravi ( Film Maker & Cameraperson)
  21. Shahabaz Aman (Composer, Singer & Writer)
  22. KP Kumaran (Film Director)
  23. KR Mohan (Film Director)
  24. Surabhi Sharma ( Film Maker, Karnataka)
  25. Anitha Tambi (Poet, Kerala)
  26. P P Ramachandran (Poet, Kerala)
  27. P Raman (Poet, Kerala)
  28. V M Girija (Poet, Kerala)
  29. Ajithkumar B (Film Editor, Kerala)
  30. Meena Kandasamy (Poet, Tamil Nadu)
  31. Anvar Ali (Poet & Lyricist, Kerala)
  32. Civic Chandran (Writer, Kerala)
  33. VG Thampi (Poet, Kerala)
  34. S Gopalakrishnan (Writer, Kerala)
  35. Beena Sarwar (Human Rights Activist & Writer, Pakistan)
  36. J Devika (Writer, Kerala)
  37. T Peter (Editor, Alakal)
  38. KK Kochu (Writer, Kerala)
  39. P Baburaj (Film maker, Kerala)
  40. Sunil P Ilayidam (Writer, Kerala)
  41. TT Sreekumar ( Critic & Writer, Kerala)
  42. KEN Kunjahammed (Writer, Kerala)
  43. K P Sethunath ( Journalist, Kerala)
  44. CS Venkiteswaran (Film Critic & Journalist, Kerala)
  45. Meghnath (Film Maker, Jharkhand)
  46. R P Amudan (Film Maker, Tamil Nadu)
  47. C R Neelakandan (Activist, Kerala)
  48. Jyoti Narayanan, (Activist Kerala)
  49. Sreekumar Mukhathala (Poet Kerala)
  50. A J Thomas (Poet & Translator, New Delhi)
  51. Latheesh Mohan (Poet , Kerala)
  52. Sunilkumar PK (Musician & Composer)
  53. B Rajeevan (Critic, Kerala)
  54. Savithri Rajeevan (Poet , Kerala)
  55. PN Gopeekrishnan (Poet , Kerala)
  56. Anjali Monteiro (Film maker, Maharashtra)
  57. Binu Mathew (Editor, Countercurrents.org)
  58. Satya Sagar ( Writer & Journalist, New Delhi)
  59. KP Jayasanker (Film Maker, Maharashtra)
  60. CG Prinz (Sculptor)
  61. Nisa Azeezi (Singer & Composer)
  62. Jagadish Chandra (Editor, Dudiyora Horaata, Kranataka)
  63. Najumul Shahi (Theatre artist & Director)
  64. Dhirendra Panda (Activist, Odisha)
  65. Sudhir Patnaik (Editor & Writer, Bhubaneshwar)
  66. Riyas Komu (Painter, Kerala)
  67. K K Shahina (Journalist, Kerala)
  68. Kamayani Bali Mahabal (Feminist and Human Rights Activist, Mumbai )
  69. Anjum Rajabali (Screen writer & Teacher)
  70. Fr. Benny Benedict (Film Teacher)
  71. Javed Anand (Co-Editor, Communalism Combat, Mumbai)
  72. PK Sajeev ( Composer & Singer)
  73. Anisha Jhanshi ( IT Professional & Film maker)
  74. Achu Sheela (Designer)
  75. Adv.Lindons C Davis (Lawyer & Social worker)
  76. Mustafa Desamangalam (Film maker & freelance Journalist)
  77. Kuzhur Wilson ( Poet & TV Anchor)