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
1
2 3 4 5 6
7

Latest London politics news

Monday, March 30, 2015
Can you guess which politicians make up these coalition lovechildren?

As the election draws near, there’s been lots of talk about another coalition, which got us thinking: What would it look like if Boris Johnson and Ed Miliband had a baby?

Monday, March 30, 2015
The five-and-a-half-week general election campaign kicks off today (Pic: Getty Images)

The general election campaign kicked off this morning with David Cameron warning voters they face a “stark choice” after five years of coalition government.

Friday, March 20, 2015
With the election coverage reaching fever picth here are some interesting things you may have missed (Photo by Oli Scarff/Getty Images)

In amongst all the political rhetoric, endless polling and debate about having debates there’s plenty of interesing things you might have missed about the General Election. That’s why we’re here to fill you in:

Friday, March 20, 2015
Check out our guide to making sure you can cast your vote on May 7 (Photo by Matt Cardy/Getty Images)

Whether you’re a first-time voter or you’ve just not got round to it yet – our handy guide to voting will help you make sure you don’t miss out on the chance to make your voice count.

Thursday, March 19, 2015
The letter from Sarah Sackman - clearly signed off as MP for Finchley and Golders Green

When trying to win an election confidence in your ability is key - but signing off letters as MP despite the election still being 50 days away is probably a bit presumptuous.

Tuesday, March 17, 2015
(Photo by Ben A. Pruchnie/Getty Images)

The three chancellors George Osborne, Ed Balls and Danny Alexander took scrambled to get their hands on bank notes today during a Crystal Dome cash grab.

What is this?

Near You Now

Don't Miss...

Competitions

Vroom! You could be emmersed in the action at the MCE Insurance British Superbike Championship.

The MCE Insurance British Superbike Championship fires into Brands Hatch on 17/18/19 April for one of the most anticipated seasons in recent years as 39 riders are set for two fierce contests on the 1.2 mile Indy circuit.

Read more