The Safdar Hashmi Memorial Trust (SAHMAT) on Monday condemned the manner in which a “pro-Modi supporter” threatened Hindustani classical vocalist Shubha Mudgal at her concert in California last week for her vocal and public opposition to “Hindutva forces.”
Narrating the encounter to SAHMAT in an email, Ms. Mudgal said: “This kind of lumpen activity is not surprising from supporters of the Bharatiya Janata Party. But compared to the killing of the Muslim techie and other such incidents, I feel the experience we went through is hardly worth mentioning.’’
``Safe and unharmed’’ but a ``little shocked and saddened,” the vocalist said and added that this kind of incident was not unexpected “but I think I was not prepared for it to occur in California” where she was to perform along with Bombay Jayashri at the Sunnywale Temple’s auditorium.
Just ahead of the performance, Ms. Mudgal was accosted by one of the office-bearers of the temple. According to her, the office-bearer – whom she refers to as Mr. Bully – said he had received several mails complaining that she had written an “anti-Modi, anti-Hindu, anti-national letter” to [former Prime Minister] Manmohan Singh.
``The complainants asked him not to let any anti-Hindu activity take place on the premises,’’ Ms. Mudgal said. “I told him that it was no secret that I am anti-Modi but couldn’t see how that gave him the right to accost me in this fashion.”
The argument got heated and the other musicians joined them in the wings of the auditorium and threatened to call off the performance.
However, since the concert was sold out and the organisers requested them to perform, the musicians decided to go ahead with the performance under heavy security. “It was clear that the organisers expected trouble because the security guys followed me around till I left the premises,” Ms. Mudgal added.