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

Thursday, April 16, 2015
David Dimbleby  Photo:  Jeff Overs/BBC/PA Wire

The five leaders not in government will debate each other on the BBC

Thursday, April 16, 2015
Struggling with who to vote for? Try one of these quizzes [Picture: Shuttleshock]

Completely undecided about who to vote for in the General Election 2015? You’re not alone - a whopping 33 per cent of British voters are unsure who to back. Fear not, we’ve compiled the best political quizzes to help you make your mind up.

Tuesday, April 14, 2015
This General Election race had less mud-slinging than most [Ben Birchall/PA Wire]

Everyone loves micropigs, and most people have a few butcher’s choice words to say about politicians. Now the two have been combined in a hammy election race.

Monday, April 13, 2015
Polish prince Janek Zylinski challenged Mr Farage to swordfight or

Nigel Farage could face his deadliest challenge yet, after a Polish prince challenged him to a duel in Hyde Park.

Sunday, April 12, 2015
Mr Nawaz is standing for election in Hampstead and Kilburn  (Photo by Jason Kempin/Getty Images)

Hampstead and Kilburn’s Liberal Democrat parliamentary candidate has come under fire for getting a naked lap dance at a strip club in east London on his stag night.

Friday, April 10, 2015
Young people are screwed...but things can change

“Things are a bit worse now than they have been in any other election,” Guardian journalist and author Williams says matter-of-factly.

What is this?

Near You Now

Don't Miss...