A two-day ‘Dance and Music in the Park’ festival was being jointly organised at Nehru Park at Chanakyapuri, Delhi by the Airports Authority of India (AAI) along with the cultural body, SPIC-MACAY.
T M Krishna, famous Carnatic music vocalist from Chennai was supposed to be a part of this concert. On 8th November, AAI put out an official tweet inviting people to the Classical Music concert scheduled on 17th November. The tweet also shared the names of artists on sitar and the tabla.
#AAI invites you to experience the essence of Indian classical music on 17th November in the second edition of 'Dance & Music in the Park'. The concert will feature eminent Sitar player Ustad Shahid Parvez Khan who will be accompanied by Shri Mithilesh K. Jha on Tabla. pic.twitter.com/An83pEK2Ke
— Airports Authority of India (@AAI_Official) November 8, 2018
Later, on 10th November, AAI put out another tweet, naming and tagging T M Krishna as one of the other performers at the event. The tweet also tagged Ministry of Civil aviation, PIB India, MIB India Handles along with Union Ministers Jayant Sinha and Suresh Prabhu.
#AAI cordially invites you to a Carnatic vocal performance by @tmkrishna who will be accompanied by R.K. Shriramkumar on violin, Praveen Sparsh on Mridangam & Anirudh Athreya on Kanjira – on 17th November in the 2nd edition of 'Dance & Music in the Park' at Nehru Park, Delhi. pic.twitter.com/8ZiUd4n2xC
— Airports Authority of India (@AAI_Official) November 10, 2018
However, this tweet gathered too many hate messages from the right wing supporters where they criticised Krishna for making alleged Anti India comments earlier.
One social media user by the name of Narayan tweeted that Krishna had not only insulted Indians but also the historic legends and Bharat Ratnas of India. He also said “we” condemn this and demanded his event to be cancelled. This tweet was retweeted by 60 and liked by 210 users.
He's insulted not only Indians but also the historic Legends & Bharat Ratnas of India.
We Condemn this and request to cancel this event.
— Narayan (@MosurAnna) November 12, 2018
Another gentleman by the name of Raghavan who flaunts the red flag in his profile called out AAI and said that they should be ashamed of associating themselves with a man who insulted and degraded the art that fed him. He also said that in a way the term urban naxal suited Krishna. This tweet was retweeted 66 times and liked by 189 users.
You should be ashamed of associating with a guy who's notorious for insulting & degrading the sacred art that feeds him. He's also known for bad-mouthing the organisations that patronize him. In a way, he fits the definition of #UrbanNaxal. Think!
— Raghavan R : राघवन आर (@mayfair1958) November 12, 2018
A lady named Saraswati Shetty whose profile reads Proud Hindu and Patriotic Indian threatened that the event will not be attended. She also accused that anyone who allegedly hurts Hindu sentiments becomes a hero in India. She too was encouraged by 73 Retweets and 199 Likes for her tweet.
We will Not Attend
He has insulted CarnaticMusic by changing ageold Lyrics
Looks like anyone who hurts Hindu Religious Sentiments bcoms a hero in India.@nandaji1958 @Savitritvs @ShefVaidya @Kuvalayamala @mahendra3 @truevirathindu @girishalva @PMOIndia @HMOIndia @vivekagnihotri
— saraswati shetty (@fouress) November 12, 2018
Rajeev Kumar, another twitter user called out the Prime Minister saying that he had used the term Urban Maoists and the dangers associated with them, a few days ago, while his own government was providing a platform to such individuals. He even mocked Modi that as a Prime Minister he had no control on his own organisations or did not care. 49 people retweeted and 86 of them liked this tweet.
Cc: @narendramodi You were talking about danger from “UrbanMaoist” just few days back? Here is one being provided a platform by AAI under your Govt. This means only either your have no control over orgs under your Govt. or you dont care.
— rajeev kumar (@rkbpillai) November 12, 2018
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These were some of the other tweets shared under the AAI tweet of 10th November.
WE WILL NOT ATTEND.
HE INSULTED BHARAT RATNA MS SUBBULAKSHMI……………
GET LOST AAI
— Vivek.K 🇮🇳 (@kvivek_anandan) November 12, 2018
Shame on @AAI_Official for wasting tax payers money on #UrbanNaxals like TM Krishna that even @PMOIndia @narendramodi has finally warned about.@moca_goi @jayantsinha @AmitShahOffice @AmitShah @vivekagnihotri #UrbanMaoist
— ॐ सत्यभाषणं (@satyabhashnam) November 12, 2018
Ideally he should change his handle name to @tmchrisna
— S.Ranganathan (@rangats) November 12, 2018
Rescind this invitation!
— Nerus (@Nerus000) November 12, 2018
No one will attend it @AAI_Official You are hand in glove with a person who abuses Indian tradition.Get lost
— Manmohan Misra (@ManmohanMisra2) November 12, 2018
Such backlash has allegedly forced AAI to now call off the concert in the national capital which was going to take place on this coming Saturday. On 14th November, AAI shared another tweet in relation to this event saying that due to some urgent engagements, the ‘Dance and Music in the Park’ programme was called off and new dates will be announced shortly.
We would like to inform that due to some urgent engagements, 'Dance and Music in the Park' programme jointly organized by #AAI and @spicmacay, scheduled for 17th & 18th November, 2018 has been postponed and new dates would be shared shortly. Inconvenience caused is regretted.
— Airports Authority of India (@AAI_Official) November 14, 2018
As reported by the Indian Express, AAI Chairman Guruprasad Mohapatra however denied that the concert was postponed because of the criticism the government body received for inviting Krishna. He said,
“We have some issues. Some exigency has come up and we are not free that day. Whatever note we have given in the media, that is all, there is nothing more I want to say on this.”
Krishna’s supporters have been tweeting in his favour though.
An announcement of a @tmkrishna concert resulted in ‘some issues’ & the concert being cancelled because the entire AAI is ‘not free that day’
— barkha deva (@barkhad) November 15, 2018
“When a scholar is prevented from speaking, that is intolerance. But to prevent a great musician from performing in the national capital is not mere intolerance — it is barbarism”: Ramachandra Guha bats for @tmkrishna in the @indianexpress. pic.twitter.com/NbYwtrCIjN
— churumuri (@churumuri) November 15, 2018
@ramguha makes clear what it means when @tmkrishna can’t give a public performance in Delhi: “…to prevent a great musician from performing in the national capital is not mere intolerance — it is barbarism. “ https://t.co/RvszUa6gxb
— Rammanohar Reddy (@ramreddy) November 15, 2018
Krishna, 42, a Magsaysay award winner, is regarded as one of the finest among the current Carnatic musicians. However, his views which spell out secularism in his music has clearly antagonized the Hindutva supporters. Earlier in August, a Maryland temple had cancelled his concert as the Hindutva activists had accused him of singing ‘Christian Hymns’.
Such incidents only emphasise that the current day government is going to fight the upcoming elections in 2019 purely on caste and religion based politics. If there is any truth in the event being cancelled due to the right wing outrage, it is a clear indication that the ruling government is in no mood to displease their extremist supporters.
Also through the tweets, it is evident that the Hindutva supporters are encouraged in openly using terms such as Urban Naxals, Urban Maoists and so on for Indian citizens. These terms are further given legitimacy by the Prime Minister of India who too used these words on a public platform.
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