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Ghulam Ali ban: What will your verse be, Mr Thackeray?

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“We are admirers of Pakistani ghazal maestro Ghulam Ali and listen to his music… But we cannot permit his concert here in view of the killings perpetrated by Pakistan-sponsored terrorists on our borders.”

~Aditya Thackeray

“We can not permit…” Who are you to say so Mr Thackeray? Did you sit in the Constituent Assembly which formed the Constitution of India? Did you serve as a Chief Justice who interprets laws? Are you the Prime Minister of India? Who are you?

You are a person, or a people, with agenda. As you say, you admire his ghazals and listen to his music then what compels you to this Ghulam Ali ban? In absence of something meaningful to do with your lives, people like you need something to cling on. You need these ridiculous ideas to thrive.

The moment you don’t get a pitch to dig up, your whole political base will get depleted. If you don’t have Maratha pride story to tell, how will you keep your fandom intact! If you don’t do this India-Pakistan thing, how will your cadre consider you to be the true patriot!

It is understandable that at such young age and with your ‘Yuva Sena’ you have too much to do. Being a political leader, or leader in making, takes too much away from us. The first thing to let go is, apparently, common sense as it doesn’t make any sense to me how rejection of artistes in India will solve the issue at border?

Why this hypocrisy of listening to his ghazals? Why can’t you mobilise your people to go on rampage, ask for people’s phones and delete their playlist with any song that has a Pakistani like Ghulam Ali, Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan, Mehdi Hasan, Abida Parveen and other!

In fact, if you look for the Pak connection, our young people would have no songs in their phones because all of us, shamelessly, download from songs.pk!

Politics, diplomacy, law and art are different fields. Even if the first three are interrelated, can we please leave the art alone. Robin Williams’ character John Keating remarked in Dead Poets Society, “We don’t read and write poetry because it’s cute. We read and write poetry because we are members of the human race. And the human race is filled with passion. And medicine, law, business, engineering, these are noble pursuits and necessary to sustain life. But poetry, beauty, romance, love, these are what we stay alive for.” The same is applicable for music as poetry is a big part of it.

The notion of nationalism is good; patriotism is worth dying for but it is compassion, rejection of hatred and fake ideologies is one must strive for.

The question is, how does this help India as a nation and Indians as people? If stopping to play cricket with Pakistan solves border issues, I will take a Shiv Sena membership for life and pay for it. If Ghulam Ali not singing a tribute to Jagjit Singh, his friend and one of India’s best contemporary ghazal singers, stops the unprovoked firings at borders, I would visit the samadhi of Bal Thackeray and place wreaths on it.

But it doesn’t. It hasn’t. It won’t.

You are a young man of 25 years. Wikipedia says you are a published poet and lyricist. By doing this politics of bans and protests, we all know “that the powerful play goes on and you may contribute a verse,” and but I wonder Mr Thackeray, “What will your verse be?”

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Shiv Sena Dissociates Itself From The ‘Burqa’ Ban Demand

It accused that many Muslims have not understood the true meaning of their religion (Islam) and they have confused it with traditions and customs like burqa, polygamy, triple talaq and resistance to family planning, the edit added.

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All India Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen chief Asaduddin Owais attacked the Sena for its ignorance by seeking a ban on burqa and sought Election Commission's action in the matter.Pixabay

Hours after its party mouthpieces called for a ban on the use of ‘burqas’ like what Sri Lanka is considering, the Shiv Sena on Wednesday evening officially dissociated itself from the demand, following a massive furore on the issue just five days before the Islamic holy month of Ramadan begins.

Referring to the strong editorial in Saamana and Dopahar Ka Saamana calling for the ban like the measure being mulled by the Sri Lankan government in the wake of the Easter terror strikes which claimed over 250 lives, party spokesperson Neelam Gorhe stressed that every policy decision is discussed in a meeting of top leaders or announced by party President Uddhav Thackeray.

“Today’s editorial has neither been discussed nor been announced by Uddhavji and thus it may be a personal opinion of the editor on the current affairs in Sri Lanka, but is not endorsed by the party President or the party,” Gorhe said in a categorical statement, signalling a dramatic turnaround on the issue.

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“Not all women who wear burqa are terrorists, it is their custom and their right, too. There should not be such a ban on burqa in India,” its President and Union Minister Ramdas Athawale said. Pixabay

State political circles indicated the sudden decision to backtrack may have been prompted by the massive potential political fallout of the Sena’s demand on the Bharatiya Janata Party and allies which are facing the upcoming three phases of elections in this month, barely on the eve of the holiest month in the Islamic calendar.

With the demand, addressed directly to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, political circles are abuzz with speculation whether BJP leadership and other allies have conveyed their “displeasure” to the Sena, but Gorhe declined to comment on this when asked by IANS.

Another ally, the Republican Party of India-A strongly came out against the Sena on the issue

“Not all women who wear burqa are terrorists, it is their custom and their right, too. There should not be such a ban on burqa in India,” its President and Union Minister Ramdas Athawale said.

All India Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen chief Asaduddin Owais attacked the Sena for its ignorance by seeking a ban on burqa and sought Election Commission’s action in the matter.

“The Supreme Court judgement on privacy clearly lays down that choice is now a Fundamental Right. Besides, it is a violation of the Model Code of Conduct, aimed at creating polarization before the elections,” he said.

The editorial said that the ban – something similar which the party has proposed in the past — “has already come in Ravana’s (Sri) Lanka, when will it be implemented in Ram’s Ayodhya — this is our question to (Prime Minister) Narendra Modi.”

“This restriction has been recommended as an emergency measure to ensure the security forces do not encounter difficulties in identifying anybody. People wearing face-masks or burqas could pose a threat to national security,” it said.

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“The Supreme Court judgement on privacy clearly lays down that choice is now a Fundamental Right. Besides, it is a violation of the Model Code of Conduct, aimed at creating polarization before the elections,” he said. Pixabay

“If such religious practices or traditions interfere with national security, then it must be ended immediately, and “Modi will have to do it now”.

“This work will require as much daring as a ‘surgical strike.’ The Sri Lankan President had done it by overnight banning burqa or veils or face-covers of any types in all public places. This is a work of great courage and restraint exhibited by (Sri Lanka) President Maithripala Sirisena,” it lauded.

Also Read: Quitting Smoking Reduces Risk of Bladder Cancer in Women: Study

It accused that many Muslims have not understood the true meaning of their religion (Islam) and they have confused it with traditions and customs like burqa, polygamy, triple talaq and resistance to family planning, the edit added.

“When any voice is raised against these practices, immediately there are cries of ‘Islam is in danger’, and it seems religion takes precedence over nationalism among Muslims. Muslim women have been sporting burqas/veils under the wrong impression that it is a Quranic tenet,” the editorial said. (IANS)