TM Krishna’s Margazhi boycott a loss to music

Many feel that TMK has taken this step towards creating a more inclusive atmosphere

Chennai: Popular Carnatic vocalist T.M. Krishna’s recent post on social media, announcing that he won’t perform during the December music season has upset many rasikas. Many feel that TMK, known for his outspoken views on ‘casteism’ in Carnatic music, has taken this step towards creating a more inclusive atmosphere. However, rasikas and musicians feel that, at the end of the day, it is a loss to music.

Harish Lakshman, MD of Rane Group, said he was very disappointed. “I know that this decision is TMK’s personal choice and I respect it. But being a big fan of his, I was very disappointed that he would not be performing during the December music season. It is definitely a loss for music and the season but I am happy that he will still perform during the rest of the year,” he rued.NRI rasikas who visit Chennai during the Margazhi season will miss out on listening to TMK’s performances. Meera Krishnan, coordinator at Prakriti Foundation, said, “TMK is one of the best Carnatic singers and that he is not performing in December will be a great loss to people who specifically come to Chennai for the season to listen to his music.”

Kalaimamani K.N. Shashikiran concurred, “T.M. Krishna will definitely be missed during the December music season. But I think that we should look at this decision with a broader perspective. With TMK opting out, it is an opportunity for young Carnatic musicians to make their mark. And it is not that TMK has retired. He is just taking a break, as he wants everybody, regardless of caste or creed, to be a part of music festival.”

Young vocalist Rithvik Raja, who is the student of TM Krishna, said he was impressed by his guru’s move. “As a Carnatic musician, to see someone question the system they have worked in for so long, is quite interesting. He wants the system to be inclusive and maybe this is his way to do it,” he said. While many of his rasikas were supportive, TMK's Facebook post has been inundated with scathing comments.

One user said, “It is a smart tactic to announce I quit, before getting fired for arrogance... Your priority had become something else other than music for a while now... Good riddance.” Another user said, “Your decision is akin to a mom starving the children because she is mad at Dad. It is rasikas that are being punished.”Another musician, seeking ano-nymity, said this sets a bad precedent for aspiring musicians as it is a privilege to perform during margazhi.

( Source : deccan chronicle )
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