The origin of Carnatic music has a strong connection with the Hindu culture. Indian music is said to have originated from the Vedas. The whole religious concepts and traditions were nerve and sinew of our music. Temples were the hub of all musical activities. Music was hold to be one of the best forms of worship. It is believed that through Nadopasana the gods get pleased and the worshipper will be blessed. The Vedas, the Upanishads, the Puranas all carry citations to music. Composers of the earlier periods like Sadasiva Brahmendra, Bhodendra, Narayana theertha, all composed music in honour of the Divine. The musical trinity Thyagaraja, Muthuswamy Dikshitar and Shyamashastri were all religious people who composed on their ishta devata or on the temples , that is mainly compositions on gods and goddesses. Many ragas are named after gods on the credence that each god or goddess has a favourite raga.
The religious influence can be seen through out the growth of carnatic music in different eras. But is the bond an unbreakable one that the art can’t go beyond any concepts of the religion..Should it be tied and kept inside the so called upper class-hindu tradition forever.. Evaluating from a view that considers an art purely as expression of human being, the answer should be a NO. Then what happened when you practiced your NO in your music…?
Four singers- Aruna Sairam, Nityasree Mahdevan, O.S. Arun and P. Unnikrishnan- were targeted on social media for singing songs in praise of Jesus. Following the threats, Arun cancelled his participation in a programme organised by a Christian body while Nityasree clarified that she will not sing anymore compositions on non-Hindu gods.
Carnatic musician TM Krishna has always been the victim for various hindutva groups and conservative mass as plenty of his programmes being cancelled inside and outside the country only because of his incorporation of modern values and god of other religions into Carnatic music.
The debate on Carnatic musicians singing devotional songs of other religions began when Carnatic vocalist O.S. Arun got involved in a Christian musical event called ‘Esuvin Sangama Sangeetham’. The singer had to ultimately withdraw his participation from the event after a critical verbal attack from S. Ramanathan, founder of Rashtriya Sanathana Seva Sangam (RSSS) came out. In a report by The Wire, during a telephonic conversation, the RSSS founder asked Arun, “Why are you singing for Christians, being a Hindu?”
It is conjectured that T.M. Krishna took this decision to release one Carnatic song every month on Jesus or Allah after his clear exasperation of seeing the influence of the RSS creeping into Carnatic music as well.
Yes, of course you can oppress them..You can sit and wait to suppress and physically and mentally harass the future buds also who are gonna take part in this movement..Let your anger get settled…Let all your religious pride get flourished…But realise…atlast a point of time will reach where there will not be any single drop of music left upon which you wished to shower your fascism…..