Music, who doesn't like it! There are all kinds of music. Indian classical, Indian filmi, western bands and groups, Italian songs and operas, bhajans, hymns – and hundreds, if not thousands, of other kinds of music and songs.
Then there are ghazals. You have to be a brain-dead zombie if you are an Indian or a Pakistani, or a Bangladeshi, or a host of other nationality and you don't like ghazals. Most Indians love ghazals be it of Pankaj Udhas, Jagjit Singh, or Talat Aziz, not to mention Mohammed Rafi and Talat Mehmood of the bygone eras. So do Pakistanis who have some of the most prolific ghazal singers in the world. Menhdi Hassan and Ghulam Ali come into mind almost immediately when we talk about ghazal.
Who doesn't immerse into a sense of love and romance when Ghulam Ali belts out 'Kal Choudween ki Raat Thi' or when Menhdi Hassan pours his heart out when he sings 'Ranjish hi Sahi, Dil ko Dukhane ke Liye Aa'.
Truly, music transcends religion, culture, caste, skin color, and geographical boundaries.
Billy Joel, the famous American songwriter, composer, and pianist once said: "I think music in itself is healing. It's an explosive expression of humanity. It's something we are all touched by. No matter what culture we're from, everyone loves music."
Have you ever heard legendary Jimi Hendrix playing some mean guitar? You should, if you haven't. Anyway, talking about music, he said: "Music doesn't lie. If there is something to be changed in this world, then it can only happen through music."
Another rock and blues musician, Edgar Holland Winter said, "Music is very spiritual, it has the power to bring people together."
All these people couldn't be wrong.
But let's not tell that to the Shiv Sena activists who have apparently self-appointed themselves as the guardian of the Indian culture.
On October 7, 2015, the organizer of the Ghulam Ali concert at Shamughananda Hall in Mumbai were forced to cancel the program after the ultra rightwing Hindu outfit Shiv Sena's leader Uddhav Thackeray threatened to disrupt the concert with act of violence if the organizers went ahead with the program scheduled for October 9.
"Ghulam Ali will not be coming for the concert which was to be held on October 9," event organiser Randhir Roy said.
In a letter to the management of the Shamughananda Hall, where the concert was scheduled to be held, Shiv Sena's cine wing "Chitrapat Sena" had said if it went ahead with the show it would have to face the anger of Shiv Sena and the patriotic people.
"Through this letter, we want to convey to you that if you invite the Pakistan artiste to the show you will have to face the Shiv Sena's wrath... Which is why we ask you to prohibit the Pakistan artist from coming to the programme, or else you will have to face the anger of Shiv Sena's and the patriotic people of the country," Chitrapat Sena Vibhag Pramukh Mangesh Satamkar said in his letter to the organizer.
"Chitrapat Sena Vibhag"!! No, really! I am not making it up.
Makes me wonder what other 'vibhags' these Hindu Mullahs have. I wouldn't be surprised if there is a 'Yaun (Sex) Vibhag', 'Meat Vibhag', 'Daaru Vibhag', 'Flat/Apartment Vibhag' (where they tell you how to live inside your apartment), 'Clothing Vibhag', 'Hair Style Vibhag', 'Song Vibhag', 'School Vibhag', 'College Vibhag', 'Shopping Vibhag', and of course, the 'Vivah (Marriage) Vibhag' that lays out the ground rules for who you can marry and who you cannot.
And they say Biharis are fools, rustic, boorish, and un-cultured.
Sorry, Me-Mumbaikars, most sane people will take Bihari simplistic view of life over your fundamentalist approach to everything. Just as rational people condemn Taliban and ISIS and other radical Muslims outfits, they condemn you for your deeply rooted hatred towards anyone who does not dance to your tunes or follow your 15th century diktats. Enjoy your ignorance-based hate.