Noted Carnatic singer T.M. Krishna, on Thursday, tweeted that he would be bringing out a Carnatic song every month either on “Allah or Jesus”. The decision came in the wake of the backlash faced by singers O.S. Arun and Nithyasree Mahadevan for singing Christian Carnatic hymns.
Considering the vile comments and threats issued by many on social media regarding Karnatik compositions on Jesus, I announce here that I will be releasing one karnatik song every month on Jesus or Allah.
T.M. Krishna #art #religion #jesus #allah #communalism #freedom #music
— T M Krishna (@tmkrishna) August 9, 2018
Controversy erupted when Carnatic vocalist O.S.
According to The Wire, an audio clip was doing the rounds on WhatsApp in which Ramanathan, head of an organisation called RSSS (which stands for Rashtriya Sanathan Seva Sangh and is not related to the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh, RSS) questioned Arun for singing for Christianity, despite being a Hindu.
Nithyasree Mahadevan, the granddaughter of D.K. Pattammal, too, was at the receiving end on social media for singing the Christian song ‘Samaanulevaru prabho’ that was allegedly similar to Thyagaraja Swami’s ‘Ramaa Nee Samana Mevaru.’ This forced Mahadevan to share a note on Facebook in which she clarified that she had great respect for Carnatic music and all its composers. It was never her intent to hurt anyone’s feelings and that she was only trying to bolster peace and religious harmony through her actions.
Noted Carnatic musicians like Bombay Jayasri and T.M. Krishna have sung Christian devotional songs in the past. Krishna was quoted in the same report saying, “I believe one should sing in churches, I believe music should have multi-religious and non-religious hues.”
According to another report published in The Wire, the concept of Christian Carnatic music has always existed and it is only now that the general public has woken up to it. Abraham Pandithar (Paadum Pathiri) composed several krithis praising Jesus between 1859 and 1919. And, every year during the Margazhi music season, in the December 25 morning slot, senior violinist T.N. Krishnan always performs ‘Jingle Bells’.
Meanwhile, classical pianist and music educator Anil Srinivasan, who has been trolled severely for his stand on the issue, threw open a challenge asking for proof of artistes using an original Thyagaraja composition and substituting “Rama nama with Yesu or Allah.” While claims have been made, no proof has been submitted so far.
Carnatic vocalist Aruna Sairam, too, issued a clarification stating that rumours of her modifying traditional Carnatic kirtis are false and that she would never tamper with classical content either for personal or commercial gains.
Some rumours are doing the rounds on social media that I have modified traditional Carnatic kirtis and sung the same for evangelical purposes. I would like to clarify that I would I never tamper with classical content either for personal or commercial gains
— Aruna Sairam (@arunasays) August 8, 2018