Mr T M Krishna has been conferred with Magsaysay Award for his outstanding special work on making Carnatic music available to masses and learned people have divided into two parts and questioning the logic and reason behind the award. A section of people say that Mr Krishna is not a great singer, but the award is not been given for his musical talents but for this path breaking work. Learned friend Mr Rajesh Garga has supported the award committee and feels that inclusiveness is missing in this art form. Please read his blog and find out his reasons for his stand.
But I beg to differ from Mr Garga on the following grounds.
//Is this art form inclusive today? From my understanding the answer is sadly no. It is learnt, performed, appreciated and administered only by the Brahmin community. If there is anyone involved from outside of this community, they would be more of an exception to the rule. //
Honestly I am at a loss to understand the meaning of the word inclusiveness. People will have different tastes, what appears tasty need not be taken as good by others. Someone likes Carnatic music and someone like villuppaatu, someone like therukkuthu, we need to have space for all art forms and why should we make everyone to learn only one art form? For that matter any art or sports or music or films will have only a selected audience and that is the segment for which it is been performed.
//And if we were to talk about non Hindus, the list would be basically be zero. //
Music is haram to certain religious people and when it is prohibited by their holy book or interpreted so, how could you expect them to learn it. Why should we bear the cross for their point of views?
For the other major religious group, hope you should be aware of Kalaikavery of Trichy and other similar organizations. Most of the churches have their own band which conducts musical festivals to impress people to propagate their religion, and all the players are from their own religion, but let us not talk about inclusiveness there, because it will be against our secular and intellectual credentials )))
And for sure any art form developed in this land has a huge influence from Hinduism. What is wrong in accepting it? If you want to know what will happen if you want to delink or cut off the Hindu roots, please read this story
//In states like Tamil Nadu, this art form has been labelled Brahminical and has been actively discouraged. I do not know what is done in the music college and its likes in Tamil Nadu.//
On one hand people say that Carnatic music is braminical and should be discouraged and on the other hand says that they do not have an opportunity to learn it. My left foot boss for those intellects.
And if you want to know what is done in the music colleges and its likes in Tamil nadu, pl check this link to find out
If someone has to question, they need to question this institutions that have been set up to teach the art to masses and not the performers or the Sabas and their office bearers. The list of music and other art institutions are listed here for your ready reference.
//All the composers that Jataayu has mentioned have all sung about Hindu Gods and today this music is almost uni-dimensional in the Bhakti format. It is only the Sanjay Subramaniams and the TM Krishnas who are trying to bring in varied compositions be it from Tamil classic literatures or from other languages. I am yet to see someone sing anything on social issues or even the Bhakti aspect to include other religions. Where is inclusiveness here? //
Most of the compositions are on bakthi format, because Hindus feel that music is a way to reach out to the God Almighty and the religion has given scope and canvas to treat God Almighty as a friend, guide, philosopher, lover and countless forms whichever one feels comfortable with, this kind of freedom is totally prohibited in most of the other religion. When there is a scope, people use their imagination and creativity and when it is blocked what else one can expect? In the name of inclusiveness do you want us also to follow their footsteps sir?
And performers sing what is available to them and if social causes need to be addressed through music we need someone who can write the lyrics, someone who can compose music and someone with a good voice or skill to perform. It is a team effect. It is childish to get into blame game, people do it because they find it very easy. Lighting a lamp is always better than to curse the darkness, but by cursing the darkness that to on a loud voice make others to look at you and make you to be eligible for special awards. TMK has achieved his goal, nothing more nothing less. I am sorry, lighting a lamp is Hindu way of life so we need to change it to Switching a tube light is better than to curse darkness – I would also like to be in the cozy team of intellects )))
//Today this music has gone into the firewalled zones of sabhas and it is exclusively managed by Sabha officials, who determine when and where, who can perform and who cannot. Stories of fledgling performers paying their way to get on to the schedules are plenty. Should we take a census of who runs these sabhas these days? Inclusiveness? My foot!//
Music has gone into the firewalled zones of Sabhas, because Temples which use to conduct such programs are handled by the Govt which is headed by people who do not know any idea about the art form. Free the temples from the clutches of govt and make temples to support such events which will give you a long lasting effect.
For the famous December Season, audience come in good numbers only for renowned and famous musicians and the afternoon and evening slots have very few people. Underrated performers paying their way to get on the schedules are plenty, not only in Carnatic music but also in all other art forms and sports, where regularly we come across such allegations, why point out this one?
Who prevented others from creating their own space which can be exclusively for non-brahmins to perform and to enjoy? Could anybody can stop it? What is the status of Tamil Isai Kalagam started by Raja Sir Muthiah Chettiyar? How much support tamil speaking people have given to Tamil Isai in Tamilnadu?
Atleast our Dravidian intellects could have written songs praising EVR, Anna, Karunanithi, MGR, JJ etc. Could anybody prevent them from doing it?
And Rajesh Garga Sir, it takes years to become proficient in any art form / sports. Why people do not show interest is just because even after such tedious work, there is no guarantee that they can be successful in that field. If there is a confirmation of making money is ensured, you can see a huge bunch of people rushing into any art form.
Also it not just the skills that make one successful in any art or sports, what is more important is the person’s attitude. How many people have that kind of attitude to sustain and put in that kind of rigorous work to make one successful?
Let us leave Carnatic music, even I don’t think most of the people are not in a positon to appreciate painting, does it mean that painting is managed and manipulated by Brahmins? People in Tamilnadu may not be in a position to appreciate Mohiniattam, Kadakkali, Kadak, Symphony Orchestra etc etc, whom will Mr Krishna blame for this sir ?
I am a Brahmin by birth and I have no taste for such fine arts, be it Carnatic music or barathanatiyam, where as I can point out my friends who are not Hindus who can appreciate Carnatic music, how can one explain this? Simple, they have a liking and they were able to get guidance from proper masters, that’s all.
Blaming all the ills and mistakes of the society for Brahmins is a very comfortable way of escapism and Mr Krishna is just doing that for which he has been handsomely rewarded.
Let me sum up sir, even in this issue most of us cannot look eye to eye and can I say that the award is not inclusive?