T.M. Krishna to perform in Delhi on Saturday


New Delhi, Nov 16 A concert featuring Carnatic musician T.M. Krishna, which was postponed by the Airports Authority of India (AAI) reportedly following vicious trolling on social media by rightwing elements, will now be held here on Saturday under the aegis of the Delhi government.

Delhi Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia will inaugurate Krishna's concert, labelled as "a musical evening dedicated to the voices of common man", at the Garden of Five Senses in south Delhi. The original venue was Nehru Park in the diplomatic enclave of Chanakyapuri in the heart of Delhi.

Krishna will be accompanied by violinist R.K. Shriramkumar, Anirudh Athreya on kanjira and Praveen Sparsh on mridangam.

The announcement of the concert titled "Awam ki Awaz" came a day after a major storm brewed on Thursday following the postponement and the singer got the backing of the intelligentsia and voluntary organisations. Entry to the Saturday's event is free.

The Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) government in Delhi then stepped in to organise a concert for the 42-year-old Magsaysay award winner on the same day (November 17), which Krishna has accepted.

Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal invited the people to gather in large numbers, saying, "If you believe in an inclusive India, an India which belongs to all religions, faiths and castes, your presence tomorrow (Saturday) will be a statement against those forces who are trying to divide and destroy our beloved India."

Sisodia said: "No artist should ever be denied an opportunity to perform... It's important to maintain the dignity of the art and artists."

Unfazed by online trolls which led to the postponement of his concert organised by the AAI in association with cultural NGO SPIC MACAY, Krishna alleged that "troll armies have links with people in power" and described the postponement as an attack on freedom of expression.

Krishna has carved a niche for himself by taking Carnatic music, long held as a preserve of the elite, to slums and masses. He has been a critic of the Narendra Modi regime, has been a regular target of rightwing trolls on social media and several of his concerts in recent times have seen last moment changes by the organisers.

Interestingly, newspapers on Friday still carried advertisement on Krishna's concert, which has been called off by the AAI which was organising it jointly with cultural NGO SPIC MACAY.

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