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TM Krishna performs in Delhi as AAP makes political statement

Politics and art shared the stage here on Saturday as Carnatic singer T.M. Krishna performed at a hurriedly put together concert organised by the Aam Aadmi Party government, three days after a Central government authority event he was supposed to perform at was cancelled.

Mr. Krishna was scheduled to perform at an Airports Authority of India and SPIC-MACAY event over the weekend, but it was cancelled on Wednesday allegedly because right wing trolls targeted the singer, who has spoken out against religious chauvinism.

On Thursday, Delhi Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia’s office had reached out to the singer, offering to organise a concert. On Friday, the Delhi government and Mr. Krishna announced that he would be performing at the Garden of Five Senses in south Delhi on Saturday as a part of the government’s Awam ki Awaaz concert series.

 

Speaking before Mr. Krishna started his performance, Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal told the crowd: “You all have come today. Enjoy the music, but you coming here today is a big statement that this country belongs to all –Hindus, Muslims, Christians, Sikhs, Jains, Buddhists. It belongs to Tamilians, Malayalis, Gujaratis, Marathis, Haryanvi and Punjabis.”

He added that India’s diversity was its strength and that it had to be preserved.

Before he began his performance, Mr. Krishna said he would not be speaking much as he was there to sing.

“The spirit of the day has transformed over the past few days. And in keeping with the spirit I’m going to try to bring in multiple voices, languages, traditions and religions in the concert,” he said.

On Friday, Mr. Kejriwal had said in a tweet: “If u believe in an inclusive India, an India which belongs to all religions, faiths and castes, ur presence tomo will be a statement against those forces who r trying to divide and destroy our beloved India.”

Mr. Sisodia later said in a tweet that the concert sent a message.

"Awesome performance by @tmkrishna ..and amazing response by people of Delhi . Superb! Thanks Delhi! For being here. It's not only about music... Your presence here is a political statement to save the diversity of the country."

Among those in the audience were Communist Party of India (Marxist) leader Sitaram Yechury, who sat next to Mr. Kejriwal, and former Delhi High Court Chief Justice A.P. Shah.

While most in the crowd were aware of the controversy surrounding the cancelled concert, some audience members said they were only there for the music.

Neeraj Bansal, a Faridabad resident, said his family was visiting the nearby Qutub Minar and had some time to kill.

“We just chanced upon this concert here and decided to stay as I wanted my children to experience it,” he said.

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Printable version | Apr 7, 2020 12:11:17 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/tm-krishna-performs-in-delhi-as-aap-makes-political-statement/article25528053.ece

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