AAI Cancels TM Krishna’s Concert After Trolls Label Him Anti

Lewis Collier
November 15, 2018

According to the report, Krishna said that the SPIC-MACAY informed him on Tuesday that the AAI had promised the cultural organisation that it would ignore the tweets and hold the concert with additional security to the singer. "We just can't let ourselves be cowed down by these kind of threats". Reportedly, the event was postponed by the AAI, allegedly due to right-wing criticism of the government body for inviting an "anti-India" element.

On November 10, the AAI had announced that Krishna will be performing at the event in a tweet.

However, on Wednesday evening, AAI informed that the event has been postponed and the new dates would be announced shortly.

But here's the thing: That organiser happens to be the Airports Authority of India (AAI). "We would know the details soon", Krishna said in an email reply. "We have some issues". When The Indian Express had asked the Chairman, he has said that they were not free on that day. They also tagged Piyush Goel, Minister of Railways, Coal and Corporate Affairs, and Suresh Prabhu, Minister of Civil Aviation, questioning them about Krishna's presence in the concert, adds the same Indian Express report. Besides Krishna, dancers Sonal Mansingh and Priyadarsini Govind, and sitarist Shahid Parvez Khan were to perform at the weekend event. "We at SPIC MACAY will surely like to have T.M. Krishna, who is a great asset to our classical traditions, we will surely likely to take him to the young, the schools and colleges but unfortunately, with very limited financial resources we can not do the festival on our own so we have to postpone the entire festival", said Rashmi Malik of SPIC MACAY Foundation.

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The Magsaysay Award victor has often faced criticism allegedly from right wing groups for his secular stance and singing Christian hymns and other songs. However, a group of music lovers in Georgetown University in Washington organised his concert the same day (September 9) in the campus.

Krishna has earlier been a target of Hindutva groups and right-wing trolls because of his views on secularism and caste prejudice in music. His attempts to increase the Carnatic music concert repertoire by including hymns in praise of Christ and Allah and poems by writers including Perumal Murugan have been attacked by Hindu right-wing activists.

But there has also been support for Krishna, who is one of Carnatic music's biggest stars.

He has written three books, 'Voices Within: Carnatic Music - Passing on an Inheritance' (2007), 'A Southern Music - The Karnatik Story' (2013) and more recently 'Reshaping Art' (2018).

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