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“TM Krishna invented, magnified fault lines”: Trichur Brothers reiterate decision to withdraw from Madras Music Academy. Read their full statement

They stated that they cannot in good conscience endorse the motivated, manufactured and feckless narrative that tramples on the faith, belief and value system of a majority of the followers of this sacred art form, by participating in a festival presided over by TM Krishna

Renowned Carnatic music singers Trichur Brothers have reiterated their stand to withdraw from the Madras Music Academy 2024 against the Sangitha Kalanidhi award being conferred to Leftist singer TM Krishna. The duo had first announced their withdrawal on 21st March.

Taking to X, formerly Twitter, they wrote, “Dear Friends, As promised, here is our Closing Statement on the Issue (withdrawal from performing at the Music Academy Season 2024) – ‘Abridged Version’.”

Their statement began with words of acknowledgement for the world of Carnatic music and its connoisseurs for “opening up to a hitherto silent alternate side, which is free from agenda and negativity.”

They wrote, “We have been watching Mr. TM Krishna from the side-lines for close to a decade, silently, in the hope that it would enable more people to take to the art form we worship, as genuine practitioners and listeners.”

The Trichur Brothers further said, “Sadly, over the years TM Krishna has either invented or magnified fault lines, not with the intention of closing them, but to pry them wide open, merely to sensationalise.”

They said that this has made the art, its values, its roots and its followers suffer immensely.

“This is why we were constrained to take a stand to preserve the sacred roots of Carnatic music before it was too late, and we stand by our decision to not perform at a festival “presided over” by the gentleman in question,” they stated.

Furthermore, the artists shared a list of their value systems to put into detailed context their objections to TM Krishna. This list of their value system included the following:

  1. Music is the best Unifier
  2. Staying true to the roots of an Art Form – Carnatic Music is primarily rooted in Hinduism as much as Gospel Music is rooted in Christianity and Qawwali/Sufi Music is rooted in Sufism. A true practitioner embraces and acknowledges the respective roots of an Art Form, even if it is religious.
  3. Respect for Saint Composers/Lyrics/Language/Cultural Ethos/Underlying Spiritual/Devotional/Historical aspect of a composition/Yesteryear Doyens & Fellow Artistes
  4. Positive Messaging and Optimism through Music
  5. Interpretation and Freedom of improvisation without trampling on the traditional compositions, composers or their spirit
  6. Patriotism & love for Bharat
  7. Carrying the message of Bharat to the World through Carnatic Music.

It is in this backdrop that the Trichur Brothers further stated that they cannot in good conscience endorse the motivated, manufactured and feckless narrative that tramples on the faith, belief and value system of a majority of the followers of this sacred art form, by participating in a festival presided over by Mr. TM Krishna.

“It is also of paramount importance that all practitioners of our Ancient Indian Art Forms are able to practice them in their pristine forms without fear of getting branded by a bunch of nay-sayers,” they stated.

“We have a moral responsibility and obligation to share with the world our thought process and what we believe is the core value system of our art. Our stand, in effect, is simply targeted towards a false narrative that has been in propagation with neither basis nor direction nor destination,” they added.

On 21st March, the Trichur Brothers formally announced their withdrawal from the Annual Conference of the Madras Music Academy.

“Mr TM Krishna believes and propagates a value system that is diametrically opposite to our core values! We owe it to our upbringing, Gurus, Rasikas, Family, Well wishers and Students to stand up for what we believe in,” they had stated. Meanwhile, a detailed statement is also expected to be announced by the Trichur Brothers.

A spate of withdrawals from the annual conference followed after the academy conferred the Sangitha Kalanidhi award to TM Krishna, who has insulted the very Carnatic music and arts which he performs and has insulted masters of the art like the great MS Subbulakshmi.

TM Krishna not only writes columns in leftist newspapers against the Indian arts but also attempts to desecrate the Indian art forms by encroaching on Carnatic music space with sufi and Christian hymns.

The Madras Music Academy is presided over by N Murali, the director of The Hindu Group Publishing Private Limited which publishes The Hindu, a leftist newspaper.

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