Hundreds of Delhiites, including Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal, his deputy Manish Sisodia and CPI (M) head Sitaram Yechury, gathered at the Garden of Five Senses on Saturday as a performance by Carnatic musician TM Krishna brought together the two ends of music and politics together after an earlier cancellation of a scheduled event.
A concert featuring Krishna, scheduled for Saturday was postponed by the Airports Authority of India (AAI) on Tuesday in controversial circumstances following vicious trolling on social media by rightwing elements.
The Delhi government, who had approached Krishna for long, stepped in and offered him to perform for their cultural event -- Awam Ki Awaz.
Krishna through his music, brought together various languages and religions. His music evoked Kabir, Lord Krishna and Jesus in languages ranging from Kannada, Hindi, and Malayalam.
Refusing to speak much before the performance, Krishna said: "The spirit of the day has transformed over the few days and keeping with the spirit, I will try and see if we can see multiple voices, languages, traditions, religion in the concert. I will not speak much."
"The country belongs to all -- Hindus, Muslims, Sikhs, Christians, Jains and also to Tamilians, Malayalis, Punjabis, Gujarati, Bengalis and others," said Kejriwal adding, "I can't think of any other country with so much diversity, so many languages and religions. This is our speciality. We should preserve it."
He also thanked Sisodia for arranging things in just two days.
आपका यहाँ आना, एक statement है, यह देश हम सबका है, पूरी दुनिया में हमारा ही देश है जिसमें इतनी diversity है, यही हमारी देश की खासियत है, हमें इस धरोहर को बचा के रखना है ; @arvindkejriwal at @tmkrishna concert pic.twitter.com/89vYwU0EKA— AAP (@AamAadmiParty) November 17, 2018
Here you go! Singing Kabir.. pic.twitter.com/B2Z820h1Cl— Maya Mirchandani (@maya206) November 17, 2018
The Delhi govt today ensured that voices of dissent like @tmkrishna continue to get space in the heart and mind of Delhi...— Ankit Lal (@AnkitLal) November 17, 2018
Whether the right wing agrees to it or not...
Viva la revolution... Viva la dissent... #DelhiGovt4Art pic.twitter.com/gMDDgGVqWw
Thanking people for their presence, Sisodia said: "Your presence is a political statement to save the diversity of the country."
Krishna has carved a niche for himself by taking Carnatic music, long held as a preserve of the elite, to the masses. He has been a critic of the Modi regime and a regular target of rightwing trolls on social media. Several of his concerts in recent times have seen last-moment changes by organisers.