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Vinash Kale Viprit Buddhi

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By        Narasimhan Vijayaraghavan

“Vinash Kale Viprit Buddhi”- In the wake of impending doom your intellect takes leave. That is a famous Sanskrit phrase quoted often, as and from Chanakyaneethi. It was made colloquially famous and aptly understandable,  when the venerable Jaiprakash Narayan spoke  it, in the wake of declaration of Internal Emergency by Madam Indira Gandhi on 26th June,1975. We know it proved true,  as she met her ignominious Waterloo moment in 1977.

On reading the exchanges between RaGa sisters and Music Academy President N Murali, and huge backlash on print and electronic and social media, one was reminded of this adage,  as aptly describing the decision of Music Academy to designate T M Krishna for Sangita Kalanidhi.

Dr. Goutam Desiraju, with impeccable credentials as a renowned scientist and a trained carnatic musician with fifty plus years exposure to the Academy,  as a member in attendance for the conferences, poignantly and pointedly asked, “ What was the reason for the Academy to announce the name in March,2024, breaking the tradition of revealing the name only by September or thereabouts, or even say little earlier but never in March, for a December season? Why?”. He does provide an answer in his expositions now gone viral on YouTube.

The vehemence, not virtuosity with  which the Academy President defended the designation , made it amply clear it was ‘his decision’  nodded in by the Committee/coterie/limpets ( you take your pick). The choice was thrust on the committee and they chose to digest, not accept. And if ‘he’ has picked the nominee, a scan across the media turf would reveal who else was behind it or what motivated them to pick ‘him’ and in March,2024.

Rasikas are not fools,  as Academy would like us to believe.Why are Rasikas up in arms? Not physically but metaphorically. They are sad and anguished. Not angry. Upset that an undeserving pick was made for ‘extraneous factors’ which the President claims were irrelevant. No they mattered. They alone mattered with this nominee.

‘He’ had norespect for the community he happened to be born in. That is fine. That is  his chosen ideology. He trained in Carnatic music. Revered as divine by the Trinity. Religiosity was imbued in the Sahityas. ‘He’ may reject them. Excuse me, it was by singing them, teaching them ( to mint his moolah with his undeniable vidwat) he attained the stature he had/has. Yet, he called names of Saint Tyagaraja and bad mouthed even M S Amma. What hypocrisy that is? Make a living ( far higher and more than most) on Tyagaraja Kritis and then trashing his divine compositions, which by mutilating  them to yield to his political proclivities.

Does such a person deserve the Sangita Kalanidhi? Why are rasikas anguished? Because they revere Carnatic music. They value the Music Academy as a hallowed institution. If the Academy disdainfully rejects such premises and yields to baser political instincts, it is shame on them. RaGa and others could not stomach it. They were ‘made’ by the  divinity for their passion, devotion and vidwat. They could not see it being taken to the cleaners,  when a ‘respected fellow musician’ who represented the very opposite of these tenets,  being designated  as the ‘repository of Carnatic music’. It is nothing short of sacrilege, blasphemy and  intolerable Abaswaram.

Murali is not Music Academy  (Indira did not prove to be India as as her crony D K Bharooah proclaimed) . The composition of minions in the committee do not make it either. It is the rasikas who made it and make it. These ‘characters’  would come to pass. They will not be remembered for whatever they may  have done earlier in the last two decades. But, they  will never be forgotten  for what they have perpetrated in 2024-25.

The Music Academy is beyond these characters as an institution. Carnatic Music is a limitless, vast and divine ocean. . These characters cannot ruin either of them . They can and  may have besmirched its  pure standing,  transiently. Just in  2024-25, for now. The commoner rasikas ought to unite to shun the Music Academy this year. That is the least we can do to support the artistes who have stood up. And attend concerts in every other Sabha which does  not host T M Krishna.

‘They’ must go. And go ‘they’  will. Not long from today. Rasikas must continue to speak and act. And they will be heard. It takes time for good things to happen,while it may take no time  to perpetrate such a nonsense, you see.

Vinash Kale Viprit Buddhi.


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