Thursday, November 15, 2018

Airports authority scraps T M Krishna concert after trolls call him anti-India

New Delhi: A campaign by right-wing trolls has allegedly forced the organisers to call off a concert by T M Krishna in the national capital, scheduled to be held this Saturday. An unfazed Krishna, however, said: “Give me a stage anywhere in Delhi on November 17, I will come and sing. We just can’t let ourselves be cowed down by this kind of threats.”

Krishna’s concert was to be part of a two-day “Dance and Music in the Park” festival at Nehru Park, Chanakyapuri, organised jointly by the Airports Authority of India (AAI) and the cultural body, SPIC-MACAY. On November 5, AAI announced the concert on its Twitter handle and, over the following week, shared details about the performers.

On November 10, it tweeted about Krishna’s proposed performance. Advertisements also appeared in some newspapers in the city. However, late Tuesday night, AAI informed SPIC-MACAY over email that the concert was called off. “Because of some exigencies of work, we are not in a position to go ahead with the dance & music concert jointly organised with SPIC MACAY on 17th and 18th November, 2018 at Nehru Park, New Delhi. Hence, we request you to kindly postpone to a new date and inform all concerned. The new date will be discussed with SPIC-MACAY soon,” the email said.

AAI Chairman Guruprasad Mohapatra denied that the concert was postponed because of the criticism the government body received for inviting Krishna. “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,” Mohapatra told The Indian Express.

Krishna had re-tweeted AAI’s invitation on Monday, which activated trolls who targeted the government body for sponsoring the concert. The tweets accused AAI of using public funds to sponsor Krishna, and said he sings about “Jesus and Allah”, is “anti-India”, and is a “converted bigot” and an “Urban Naxal” among other things.

Krishna’s views on constitutional values like secularism and caste prejudice in music have made him a target of Hindutva supporters. In August, a Maryland temple had cancelled his concert, allegedly after Hindutva activists accused him of singing Christian hymns. This is the only previous occasion when people opposed to his political views managed to deny him a stage. However, a group of music lovers in Georgetown University in Washington organised his concert the same day (September 9) in the campus.
15/11/18 Amrith Lal, Pranav Mukul/Indian Express