By Swetha Kannan
Noted Carnatic singer T.M. Krishna is no stranger to courting controversy. And his decision to not sing at the famed December season in Chennai henceforth will only create more stir, unwittingly or otherwise.
In his announcement on Facebook, Krishna says, “I am unable to reconcile my musical journey with that of the December season.”
Few are surprised, considering that Krishna has been raising several red flags pertaining to the ‘exclusive’ sabha culture that the Margazhi season tends to propagate. In his opinion, the famed season, which attracts several music aficionados from across the country and abroad, has over the years become ‘elitist’, thereby excluding certain sections of the society.
In an attempt to take Carnatic music out of the confines of the sabha and ensure it reaches more people in newer venues, Krishna was instrumental in organising the Urur Olcott Margazhi Vizha in a fishing hamlet in Chennai early this year. With several art forms, including Carnatic music and Kattaikuthu, sharing centre-stage, a liberal alternative voice emerged.
So, in a sense, many saw this decision coming. But, of course, passionate rasikas sincerely hoped this wouldn’t happen, at least not so quickly.
Would it be fair to point fingers at the system and still be part of it? Perhaps this was Krishna’s logic in wanting to graciously step aside?
This decision would have been an emotional one to make given that Krishna has been performing in the season for years now. The season has been a part of “my musical universe” since the age of five or six, says Krishna on his Facebook page.
Many welcome this decision calling it a bold move with Krishna walking the talk. A section of the sabha-going population feels the season would now lose some of its sheen. Some smirk and say this is yet another “gimmick”. Love him or hate him, Krishna was a big draw in the sabhas, among the young and old alike. Many wonder if this is a permanent, irrevocable decision. Will he come back when the warts clear up? Only time will tell…
Pic Courtesy- https://www.facebook.com/tmkrishna