A day after the controversial concert, the Ehsaas-e-Kashmir, it seems the organizers are facing the music. Available coverage from international media suggest the musicians and the conductor have taken an exception to the exclusivity of the event in the famed Shalimar garden.
General Manager of the Bavarian State Opera has taken exception to the exclusivity of the event.
“We were expecting to play for the people of Kashmir in the spirit of brotherhood and humanity,” New York Times quoted saying. Organizers, he has said, “turned this concert into an exclusive, elitist event for a selected, invited crowd and this understandably became a political issue, which is a pity and against the aim of art.”
In interview to an international wire agency, the Opera boss has actually termed the event an “embassy event” and accused organizers of misleading the 80-strong group of musicians.
“We were mislead by the German embassy. We will raise this issue with the German government that art can not be exploited by anyone, be it governments or by embassies or any political groups,” Bachler was quoted saying by the news agency Reuters. “The musicians, all the 80, waived the fees for Kashmiri people and not for an elite event. We did not waive the fees for an embassy concert. Be sure this will be an issue in Germany.”
The event being an exclusive one was first talked about by the famed conductor Zubin Mehta himself well before his performance started. “Let us be honest, ladies and genetlemen,” Zubin addressed the audience. “By coming here with this great orchestra, and these wonderful soloists who will perform for you this evening, there are those who we have hurt inadvertently. But we only want to do hood. And I promise next time, let us do this concert for all Kashmiris, in a stadium. We do not want only a slect few.”
Though Mehta has mellowed down on this issue, the members of the orchestra have not change their opinion. The German ambassador Michael Steiner has told Tv channel NDTV that security considerations were the main factor in deciding how large an event to hold. He has said the situation was not right for a larger event as security was the first priority.