DMK MP Kanimozhi
DMK MP Kanimozhi

DMK MP Kanimozhi supports TM Krishna in Music Academy row, says hate uncalled for

Several musicians in the Carnatic music industry distanced themselves from the event held by the Music academy to felicitate TM Krishna and issued statements saying they would not perform there.

Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK) Member of Parliament Kanimozhi extended her support to Carnatic vocalist TM Krishna, who was at the receiving end of outrage from the Carnatic music fraternity after he was awarded the prestigious Sangita Kalanidhi by the Music Academy in Chennai. 

Carnatic vocalist duo Ranjani and Gayatri claimed that TM Krishna’s affiliation with the ideologies of Periyar, a social thinker who spearheaded the Dravidian movement, was one of the reasons they distanced themselves from the event. They further alleged that Periyar repeatedly called for the “genocide of Brahmins”, denigrated Brahmin women “with vile profanity”, and normalised “filthy language in social discourse.” Apart from them, several musicians in the Carnatic music industry distanced themselves from the event held by the Music academy to felicitate TM Krishna and issued statements saying they would not perform there. 

Responding to the duo’s statement, Kanimozhi pointed out how TM Krishna being the recipient of the award has “ruffled some feathers” and that the hate he was receiving was uncalled for. She added, “The hate he is receiving for his social beliefs or his engagement with Periyar is uncalled for. A basic reading of Periyar's ideas shows us that he is one of the greatest feminists the world has seen. He never called for a genocide.” 

Comparing Ranjani’s and Gayatri’s statement to Karnataka Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) MP Shobha Karandlaje’s remarks on Tamil people setting off bombs in Karnataka, Kanimozhi added, “This hate, similar to the hate filled speech given by the BJP politician in Karnataka recently. Maybe they don't believe in the freedom of thought and expression that our country believes in. #IStandWithTMK”

TM Krishna has been critical of the Carnatic music industry’s casteism and classism and has made attempts to democatise it. He was also one among the few in the industry to stand in support with survivors of sexual harassment who came out with allegations against prominent Carnatic musicians during the Me Too movement in 2018. 

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