Violinist sues Tower Hamlets after his name goes ‘pubic’

10:58 15 June 2012

A Bengali violinist is suing Tower Hamlets council after they replaced his name with an offensive term in a festival programme.

Abdul Shahid, of Aldgate, claims the council has cost him his dignity and livelihood after they printed his first name as “Bal”, which means “pubic hair” in Bengali.

The programme, which featured the inaccurate caption next to a picture of him with a violin, was circulated to more than 85,000 people ahead of last year’s Baishakhi Mela Festival in Brick Lane.

Mr Shahid, 43, is now suing the council for £300,000 in damages, claiming the incident has cost him financially and led to him being subjected to ridicule.

He had previously performed across the world and was featured regularly on Bengali TV channels.

Speaking to the Evening Standard, he said: “My name has been destroyed, it’s a disaster.

“I have lost my livelihood. I was a very popular player, but since this has happened, I haven’t been out of the house much at all. I only feel comfortable going out at night.”

He added: “I have asked the council to write a letter of apology, but they didn’t do anything.”

In a statement released to The Advertiser, Tower Hamlets council confirmed they had received notice of legal proceedings but declined to provide any further comment on the case.

Sign up for our news alerts today!

Our editors' picks for the day's top news delivered to your inbox or phone.

Sign up for email alerts Sign up for mobile alerts
2 3 4 5 6

Latest London politics news

Monday, October 12, 2015
There have been around 25 cannabis factory fires this year (Picture: PA Images)

As MPs sit to debate whether or not cannabis should be legalised in the UK, we will bring you Twitter reactions, coverage of the pro-cannabis protest at Westminster and some of the key points on both sides of the argument. Ready or not, here we(ed) come!

Thursday, October 8, 2015
Queen Elizabeth II on a tour of the City and Islington College in 2012.

Jeremy Corbyn has declined an invitation to be sworn in to the Privy Council amid continued uncertainty over whether he will declare allegiance in person to the Queen.

Tuesday, October 6, 2015
Oxford Street has been called the most polluted street in Britain (Photo: Matthew Lloyd/Getty Images)

Five major candidates for Mayor of London, including Sadiq Khan, Zac Goldsmith and Sian Berry, have said they would close Oxford Street to traffic.

Monday, October 5, 2015
Labour Leader Jeremy Corbyn delivers his first keynote speech on day three of the Labour Party annual conference. Photo: Gareth Fuller/PA Wire

Jeremy Corbyn is due to speak at a protest against postal cuts in Manchester today, as his rival party meets in the city for its conference.

Monday, October 5, 2015
Police ushered the Mayor into the conference as protesters heckled and jeered (Photo: Mark McGowan/YouTube)

Mayor of London Boris Johnson was pelted with plastic balls as he arrived at the Conservative Party conference in Manchester today.

Friday, October 2, 2015
Zac Goldsmith will face Sadiq Khan in the battle for London in May 2016 (Picture: PA Images)

Environmentalist Richmond Park MP and Tory girls’ dreamboy Zac Goldsmith has been picked as the Conservative Party’s candidate for London Mayor, winning the contest with 70% of the vote. Here London24 brings you some of the funniest Twitter reactions to his selection.

What is this?

Near You Now

Don't Miss...

Line-Up Events


Amazon: Everything you want to buy all in one place!

With £1,500 to spend online at Amazon, there’s really nothing you can’t buy.

Read more
You'll be stocked up on toiletries  for a while!

Cosmetics, toiletries, vitamins and more.

Read more

Latest Tech News