Artists don’t subscribe to India-Pakistan differences: Ghulam Ali

By Ruchika Kher, IANS,

Mumbai : Music knows no boundaries and legendary Pakistani ghazal singer Ghulam Ali says the unrest between his homeland and India is political and artists don’t subscribe to that.

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“Whatever differences and controversies are there between India and Pakistan, they are all political. Musicians and artists don’t subscribe to that. In fact music lessens differences. It spreads love and creates a tranquil atmosphere,” Ghulam Ali told IANS in an interview.

“There is no difference between us; the same kind of music, the same ragas – our culture is the same,” he added.

Ghulam Ali’s love affair with India is old and the 69-year-old has a huge fan following thanks to his ghazals “Apne dhun mai reheta hun”, “Dil dhadakne ka sabab”, “Dil mein ek leher si uthi hai abhi”, “Hungama hai kyon barpa”, “Kal chaudvin ki raat thi” and “Mehfil mein baar baar”.

Apart from his non-film ghazals, he has been popular in India for his renditions in films like “Nikaah” and “Awaargi”. Tracks like “Chupke chupke” (“Nikaah”) and “Chamakte chaand ko” (“Awaargi”) were highly popular.

Ali is here to spread his magic at the Fever Unplugged Concert where he will jam with Indian ghazal maestro Jagjit Singh.

He said: “We have collaborated in the past too and done shows in many places like Bangalore, Kolkata, Dubai and London and people have loved it. Jagjit bhai is the number one ghazal singer.

“When you put many great singers together, then a ghazal singer like Jagjit bhai is born. I feel happy performing with him. I think we complement each other.”

His journey started in the 1960s when he started singing for Lahore Radio, but feels that over the years the genre has lost its place.

“Today’s generation is running towards other kind of music because there is less awareness about ghazals. If the media focusses on this music, then youngsters will also like it. There are ghazal listeners, that’s why we are doing so many shows, but the new generation has less exposure to it. However, we do get many youngsters for our concerts,” he said.

Why is he not doing Bollywood films?

“When Bollywood wants me, I will sing, otherwise I’m very busy with ghazal singing. It’s a big job and I hardly get any time away from it,” he said.

(Ruchika Kher can be contacted at [email protected])