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

Wednesday, February 10, 2016
Singing 'Yours' around central London (Picture: National Health Singers/ YouTube)

A choir of talented medics have been performing in Tube stations and outside London landmarks ‘singing for survival’ with their song to the NHS, ‘Yours’, since November.

Wednesday, February 10, 2016
Cambridge Circus at a standstill during this afternoon's demonstration (Picture: Fredrik Cornell / Twitter)

Thousands of London black cab drivers forced traffic in Whitehall, Piccadilly and surrounding roads to grind to a halt this afternoon as they staged a massive protest against mincab app Uber and government regulation of the industry.

Thursday, February 4, 2016
Boris Johnson has today unveiled plans for the two giant traffic-busting tunnels (Picture: PA Images)

Fed up with the traffic en route to work? Boris Johnson may have the answer. The London mayor has just unveiled plans for two huge tunnels which would run under London and make commuting easier.

Monday, January 25, 2016
A new artwork by Banksy, depicting the girl from Les Misérables affected by tear gas, opposite the French embassy in Knightsbridge, London (Yui Mok/PA Wire)

New artwork by Banksy criticising the use of teargas in The Jungle refugee camp in Calais has appeared on a wall opposite the French Embassy in London.

Tuesday, January 19, 2016
Young man tweeting on mobile phone

A survey analysed tweets from across the capital between December 15 and January 14

Tuesday, January 19, 2016
Junior doctors will be on strike today

Next week’s junior doctors strike has been cancelled as progress is made in negotiations.

What is this?

Near You Now

Don't Miss...

Competitions

Sony Smart Ultra HD 55'' LED TV

Enjoy the ultimate entertainment experience in your living room with the Sony Smart Ultra 55’’ LED TV. Be the envy of all your friends with this huge TV- you can change your living room into your own cinema! Get the boys around to watch the football or get the girls around to watch the DVD of 50 Shades.. this is a prize that everyone would enjoy! Stand a chance to upgrade your current entertainment system by wining this fantastic prize.

Read more
Surface Pro 4

Technology is ever evolving. We are constantly being shown new technology that is innovative, revolutionary and designed to make life easier for us all. Gone are the days of dial up modems and computers so large you needed half a room to store it. We are in the age of smooth, small and sleek. Companies are all trying their best to create technology that is easy to transport and guaranteed to be user friendly.

Read more

Latest Tech News

Transport