Condemning Kamal Hassan's statement on Thyagaraja - From Carnatic Musicians

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To: Kamal Hassan

This note is in reference to your recent interview with another artist from cine field in social media May 2020, where you have derogatorily mentioned about saint Sri Thyagaraja, whom the entire Carnatic music fraternity (with the exception of one or two) worships, for his divine and immense contribution to this art. We strongly condemn your reference to him ‘begging in praise of Lord Rama’.

Every Carnatic musician, regardless of how they exhibit their affiliation to the outside world, deep within themselves know that they owe every bit of their basic livelihood nd professional success, to Sri Thyagaraja’s contribution to Carnatic music. In that regard, it is hard to find a parallel in any professional field as to how many thousands or millions of families’ incomes are generated owing to significant contributions of a single person to the field.

The specific reference to Thygarajar and Lord Rama, also suggests the negatively pointed target on a specific religion/caste, which is indeed an insult to the followers of this faith: because we all know that in the past and present, there have been several saints and scholars from various religions who have earned a livelihood – cannot stoop to lows of mentioning that as ‘begging’ – in praise of Gods of the religions they belong to. Also, the Unchvrithi he did was owing to his Bhakthi, and not agendas outside of that.

While no one can tarnish the image of a holy soul such as Thyagaraja, least of all by people who conveniently and selectively oppose certain faith-based ideologies, the remark on him is extremely hurtful to an entire section of the society, which perhaps, you may care least about. However, we artists from the Carnatic music fraternity strongly object to the pointed reference of a holy saint whom we all revere, and demand an apology for your malignant and despicable remarks against him carried out intentionally or otherwise.