Carnatic Music Controversy: Ranjani and Gayatri’s Bold Stand Against TM Krishna

The world of Carnatic music finds itself embroiled in controversy once again, as renowned musicians Ranjani and Gayatri take a bold stand against the presidency of controversial singer TM Krishna at the Madras Music Academy Awards 2024. Their withdrawal from the prestigious event, citing moral violations and objections to Krishna’s divisive actions, shines a spotlight on the deep-rooted tensions within the Carnatic music community.

Ranjani and Gayatri’s decision to withdraw from the Madras Music Academy Awards underscores their unwavering commitment to upholding the values and integrity of Carnatic music. In their statement, they accuse TM Krishna of causing immense damage to the genre through his hateful aversion to Hinduism and his consistent denigration of spirituality in music.

Central to their objections is Krishna’s alleged glorification of figures like EVR Periyar, whose controversial views and actions have sparked widespread condemnation. Ranjani and Gayatri, along with other prominent musicians and scholars, condemn Krishna’s association with Periyar, citing his history of advocating for violence and using vile profanity against specific communities.

The withdrawal of Vedic scholar Dushyanth Sridhar, Carnatic musicians Trichur Brothers, Carnatic vocalist Vishakha Hari, and composer Chitravina Ravikiran, who returned his Sangita Kalanidhi Award, further amplifies the gravity of the situation. Their collective actions send a powerful message about the importance of preserving the sanctity and dignity of Carnatic music in the face of divisive ideologies and inflammatory rhetoric.

The controversy surrounding TM Krishna’s presidency at the Madras Music Academy Awards reflects broader debates within the Carnatic music community about tradition, spirituality, and artistic integrity. As stakeholders grapple with the implications of Ranjani and Gayatri’s withdrawal, the need for dialogue, reflection, and unity becomes increasingly urgent.

In the midst of this turmoil, Ranjani and Gayatri’s courageous stand serves as a beacon of hope and resilience, reminding us of the transformative power of music and the enduring values that bind us together as a community. Their refusal to compromise on principles in the face of adversity sets a powerful example for future generations of Carnatic musicians and enthusiasts alike.

As the Carnatic music community navigates this challenging chapter in its history, the voices of Ranjani and Gayatri, along with other conscientious artists and scholars, will continue to resonate as a rallying cry for unity, integrity, and inclusivity in the pursuit of musical excellence.


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