#Metoo in Carnatic may not shadow this Margazhi

This December edition may see the veterans again.

Chennai: The #Metoo movement that rattled the Carnatic music world and even left scores of rasikas dazed, is rather calm now and is unlikely to shadow this year's Margazhi music season. This December edition may see the veterans again.

Enquiries reveal that no one has come forward to register their complaints before the ICC (Internal Complaints Committee) constituted in October last year by the Federation of City Sabhas to receive complaints of sexual harassment from any performing artiste in the field of music, dance or drama. “Nobody has come forward to complain,” says Harishankar, secretary, Federation of Sabhas, Chennai, on Tuesday. Asked what could be the reason he replied, “can't say why no one came forward. It would be only speculation.”

“This (#metoo movement) has been a lesson for us. The law has not caught up with it. We expected that no one would come forward to complaint apprehending harassment,” says N. Murali, Madras Music Academy president. Referring to the MeToo movement, he said every sabha ought to have a ICC to deal with such complaints.”How can we expect them to come forward to complain? Moreover, the joint committees have no status in law,” he replied when asked about the possible reason.

“If you look at the way things were done then, it would seem that the allegations are fabricated. I was the first to refute every allegation spread by the middlemen or middlewomen who were not connected to the Carnatic music world. Many among those who put out the tweets could have verified before posting,” says Chitravina N. Ravikiran, a vocalist-cum-instrumentalist. He says he is vindicated in deciding against performing until his name was cleared. Ravikiran asserted that he has a clean track record and had “substantial proof” in his possessi on to testify his innocence.

“Notwithstanding the fact that ICC assured anonymity to those who came forward to complain, none had complained. This only raised suspicion on the allegations levelled against even the gurus,” he added. He had even told the Music Academy that he had all the evidences with him to prove the allegations false. As the campaign peaked, allegations were levelled against 22 Carnatic musicians.

The series of tweets last year followed those by singer Chinmayi Sripaada who “exposed” lyricist Vairamuthu.

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