“Carnatic music should go to more people and they should be able to understand, sing and enjoy it,” T.M. Krishna told The Hindu on the sidelines of the inauguration of ‘T.M. Krishna-Aanmajothi Music to Schools Project,’ at Chennai High School, Kotturpuram.
The singer said the project had been in the making for a long time. “We felt Chennai Schools could be the places to start because these are communities with no connection with Carnatic music,” he added.
The musician stressed on the need to democratise Carnatic music and bring in diverse listeners, singers and teachers to its fold. On the curriculum he has helped devise, he said slight modifications were effected to the way it had been taught for many hundreds of years.
When asked if he felt film music was a threat to such efforts, he replied that no form of music was a threat to any other form. “There are certain forms of music in the world which are mass. And, there are others which are not. That does not make one higher and the other lower. Film music is part of cinema and cinema is more accessible. I feel if you are able to give it in a form where more people can absorb it, everything will exist in parallel. Villupattu, Paryattaom, Therukkoothu…there is a space for every art form,” he said.
He had made a strong appeal to Prime Minister Narendra Modi to protect “the future of our pluralism” in >an open letter . “I am happy to see so many writers coming out against what is happening in our country,” he said regarding the >returning of Sahitya Akademi awards by eminent writers '.
“This is not about one religion being opposed to another. If we don’t stand up as a society of different people, of different ideas, of different notions, it is going to be tough,” he said.
A certain political force was undermining diverse living and social and political institutions. Artistes and individuals had to seriously think about it. “Because the effects of this are going to be felt a decade or 20 years later,” he said.
The artiste added that the issue was not being exaggerated as was being portrayed by some. “It is not only about cities or the English-speaking populace. When you talk about banning food, you are talking about everybody. When you say that certain cultural practices are not right, it is something that affects everybody,” he said.