Musician and Magsaysay awardee TM Krishna’s new book Sebastian & Sons traces the stories of mridangam makers, who traditionally hail from Dalit communities. The book also sees Krishna describing how the mridangam is made. The Chennai launch of the book was to be held in Kalakshetra, on February 2, 2020. The book was to be launched by Rajmohan Gandhi and VCK leader Thol Thirumavalavan.
However, yesterday, Kalakshetra rescinded permission. “The book review which has appeared today in the Newspaper contains certain statements relating to the book which touch controversial issues and certainly have a lot of political overtones,” the statement said, and added that Kalakshetra Foundation is an autonomous body under Ministry of Culture, Government of India. Being a Government organisation, it cannot allow any program that may instigate political, cultural and social disharmony. The letter was addressed to Westland Publications, and was from Revathi Ramachandran, the Director of Kalakshetra Foundation.
Speaking to The Newsminute, Krishna said, “We use cow skin to make these instruments. If the skin is not procured, these instruments cannot be made. It is wrong to say that we can’t discuss the politics around it. We have to. The same mridangam is played on the Kalakshetra stage, the same mridangam is what (Kalakshetra founder and Bharatanatyam dancer) Rukmini Devi danced to. The mridangam originates in the slaughterhouse. This is just reality. If we can’t talk about cow politics, will they stop playing the mridangam tomorrow?”
The venue was eventually changed to Asian College of Journalism and the launch will go on as planned there.
Today actor-politician tweeted in support of TM Krishna and slammed those who were scared. He also said that the event will go on without break and without fear as planned. He also congratulated the author.
மேல் நாட்டாருக்கு அடங்கி நடப்பதும், மேல் சாதிக்கு அடங்கி நடப்பதும், மேல் அதிகாரிக்கு அடங்கி நடப்பதும் வழிவழி வந்த பயத்தால், பக்தியால் வருவது.
இந்த அளப்பெரிய குணாதிசயங்களில், எது ஒன்று சற்றே குறைந்தாலும், க்ஷேத்திரப்ரவேசத்திற்கு அருகதை “அற்றவனாகி ” விடுவான் ஒரு இந்தியன்.(1/2)
— Kamal Haasan (@ikamalhaasan) January 31, 2020
Featured image: Firstpost