‘Qawwali Nahi Chalegi’: Dancer Allegedly Told at UP Govt Event

The performance, according to reports, was stopped because she was performing on a Qawwali.

2 min read
‘Qawwali Nahi Chalegi’: Dancer Allegedly Told at UP Govt Event

After she was allegedly forced to stop her performance midway at an event organised by the Uttar Pradesh government's cultural department, renowned Kathak dancer Manjari Chaturvedi on Friday, 18 January, said in a Facebook post that the same programme will be part of the ‘UP Diwas’ on 27 January with the CM as patron.

Screen grab of the post.
(Photo Courtesy: Facebook/Manjari Chaturvedi)
“I am waiting for 27 January. It’s not too far! I am watching. If they truly have no bias, they will do this,” Chaturvedi told The Quint.

Speaking to The Quint, Chaturvedi said she was overwhelmed by the support that she received and was renewed in her belief and respect for the country.

“I am overwhelmed to know people stand by the arts. Truly humbled with this support for the belief in the arts and culture and the empathy towards the one incident. I have already said what I had to say and there is nothing more that I can add to it,” she said.

The performance, according to reports, was stopped because she was performing on a Qawwali.


“Let us continue to talk of love, ishq, mohabbat, harmony that I have strived and worked for through my performance art for 25 years. In gratitude for this love and support to know people do care about artists and their performances. I am renewed in my belief and respect for the land I belong to,” she added.

Earlier, while speaking to CNN News18, Chaturvedi said that she was invited by the cultural department of the government and while she was performing, the music stopped midway during a sequence about Vrindavan.

“I looked back at my console to see if its a technical glitch, but realised the music was stopped deliberately,” she told the news channel.

Further, she also said that she heard officials coming from the side, and saying, “Yahan Qawwali nahi chal sakti” (You can’t play Qawwali here).

In a Facebook post, Chaturvedi also said, "this is the show that will be etched in my memory forever. Will share those details later."

She further told News18 that her 45-minute act was stopped midway and she was not given any explanation. “I have never experienced anything like this in my 20-year-old career,” she said.

A government spokesperson was quoted by NDTV as denying the allegations, and said that the act had to be completed in time for dinner to be served.

"The performance was cut short due to organisational compulsions and not due to any religious or linguistic bias," the spokesperson was quoted by NDTV as saying.

(With inputs from CNN News18 and NDTV)

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