A well-known kathak dancer, Manjari Chaturvedi, was allegedly forced to stop her performance midway at an event organised by the Uttar Pradesh Government here on Thursday, because she was performing on a 'qawwali'.
Chaturvedi alleged that while she was performing, the music was stopped and an announcement was made for the next act.
"I thought it was a technical glitch but then the next act was announced. It was clear that this was not an error. When I asked the officials concerned, I was told 'qawwali nahi chalegi yahan' (qawaali cannot happen here)," she told a news channel.
The artist said that she was allotted 45 minutes for her act and it was pre-planned, yet her performance was stopped and no explanation was provided.
"I have never encountered this kind of thing before in my two-decade old career," she said.
While the concerned officials were unwilling to comment, a government spokesman denied the allegations and said that the act had to be completed in time since dinner had been served.
"Since, the programme was running late, it had to be trimmed. Manjari Chaturvedi had done two performances and third was under way.
Since the programme was running late and there was a Braj performance that was to take place and we wanted all performers to get a chance, the act was stopped. The performance was cut short due to 'organisational compulsions and not due to any religious or linguistic bias'.