Well-known Kathak dancer, Manjari Chaturvedi, was allegedly forced to stop her act midway at an event organised by Uttar Pradesh government in Lucknow 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 concerned officials, I was told 'Qawwali nahi chalegi yahan' (Qawwali cannot be played 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 spokesperson 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 underway. 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 'organizational compulsions and not due to any religious or linguistic bias'.