The Defence Minister termed the incident ‘thoughtless’ and ‘insensitive’; the channel has promised to take action against those responsible.

Nirmala Sitharaman slams Doordarshan for cutting off live telecast of Tyagaraja Aradhana
news Controversy Saturday, January 06, 2018 - 15:15

Nirmala Sitharam, Minister of Defence, lost her cool when national television channel, Doordarshan, abruptly cut off the live telecast of the annual Tyagaraja Aradhana – a musical event honouring Telugu saint-composer Tyagaraja – and aired an advertisement instead.

Venting her anger on Twitter, she termed the incident ‘thoughtless’ and ‘insensitive’.

She wrote on the social media website, “You couldn’t wait for a few minutes more for the Pancharatna Kirthis to be completed.” 

Earlier, the minister had expressed her excitement about the programme being telecast. In a series of tweets, she thanked the channel and expressed her happiness over the fact they were airing the musical performance.

However, her happiness turned to anger when they chose to cut off the programme for an advertisement.

Tyagaraja’s bhakti was the longing of an earthly being to unite with his Maker who he saw in Sri Rama. Tyagaraja cared nothing about living in poor financial condition- just kept pouring out his heart.

In response to her tweet, Shashi Shekar, CEO of Prasar Bharati and Rajya Sabha TV, said that it was an unfortunate incident and assured her that strict action would be taken against those responsible.

Tyagaraja Aradhana is an annual event, where Carnatic musicians from across the world pay homage to the saint at his samadhi (tomb) located on the banks of Cauvery in Thiruvaiyaru, Thanjavur district, Tamil Nadu. The Aradhana is observed on Pushya Bahula Panchami Day (the fifth day of the waning moon).On the special day, musicians sit on either side of the samadhi and render the saint’s Pancharatna Kirthis in chorus as a mark respect.

The Aradhana is annually conducted by the Sri Thyagabrahma Mahotsava Sabha.

Tyagaraja was born in 1767 and died in 1847. He composed several devotional compositions in praise of Lord Rama.

Five of his compositions are considered special – Pancharatna Kirtis – and are regularly sung at the Aradhana.