Don’t Tell Me What I Should Sing: TM Krishna at Delhi Concert

Don’t Tell Me What I Should Sing: TM Krishna at Delhi Concert

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Days after the controversy over Carnatic singer TM Krishna’s concert, New Delhi was blessed with a mesmerising musical evening on Saturday, 17 November. The Magsaysay award-winner was received by Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal and acknowledged by the audience for standing up against online trolls. Krishna was called “anti-Indian”, “converted bigot” and an “urban Naxal" for lending his voice to Christian Carnatic songs. In conversation with The Quint after the performance, Krishna said “Don’t tell me what I should sing.”

The controversy erupted when an event jointly organised by the Airport Authority of India (AAI) and SPIC-MACAY – scheduled for 17 November in New Delhi – was reportedly ‘postponed’ due to criticism from right-wing trolls over Krishna’s participation. The Delhi government then stepped in to organise the concert on the same date.

The Carnatic Vocalist did not spend any time talking politics.

“We are here to celebrate music. So I am not going to talk.”
TM Krishna, Singer

Krishna started with multi-religious verses put together by Mahatma Gandhi that were once sung at the Sabarmati Ashram in Gujarat, and performed in more than 10 languages. His songs were inspired from Tukaram in Marathi, and compositions in Kannada by philosopher, poet and thinker Basava.

“Basava always believed in asking difficult questions.”
TM Krishna

His performance concluded with popular bhajans – Vaishnav Jan To and Sabko Sanmati De Bhagwaan. Krishna also thanked Delhi for extending support to him. When asked about India’s diversity, he told The Quint:

“We don’t have differences but different perspectives within the country.”

On Twitter, Delhi Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodiya also thanked the people of Delhi for taking a “political stand".

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