Eminent Carnatic vocalist T M Krishna pays tribute to B V Kakkilaya3 min read
MANGALORE: The two-day B V Kakkilaya Centenary programme, held in Bishop Jathanna Auditorium concluded on Sunday, August 11, with a talk by eminent Carnatic vocalist T M Krishna, who also performed later that night.
T M Krishna spoke on the topic ‘art beyond caste’ and stated that “Carnatic and Hindustani art forms are Brahmanical.” The artist turned activist questioned the idea of aesthetics saying that it was a sociopolitical construct. “The most discriminatory word in art is the word ‘classical’. The Indian word for classical is shashtriya which is even more problematic. The western classical art is based on the white people, and the Indian classical art is Brahmanical,” he opined. He pointed out that the perception and experience of classical music are triggered by its sociopolitical value, and the sponsors are after sociopolitical capital.
He also observed that the art forms of the lower caste are considered as labour and not knowledge despite its complexity and beauty. “Have you ever seen someone criticising classical music? They might say that it is too complex for them to understand but they never say it is bad. It is seldom the case in folk music,” he said, explaining that there were complex caste dynamics at play.
“Hindustani music is spiritual whereas Carnatic purely religious,” he said talking about the differences between the both. When questioned about the participation of people from other religions like Muslims in classical music, especially Hindustani, he responded, “Can’t Muslims be casteists? Bismillah Khan lived in Varanasi and performed in front of the deity every day. Even he was subjected to the Brahmanical system,” he clarified.
Prominent speakers on the event included Dinesh Amin Mattu, Dr Siddanagouda Patil, Professor Chandra Poojary, and Noor Zaheer.
Speaking during the event, Dr Siddanagouda Patil worried that industrialisation of agriculture would keep the farmers out of their lands. The industrialisation of agriculture makes way for corporate to take over and exclude farmers, he warned. Chandra Poojari talking about land reforms in India shed light on situation pre and post the Land Reforms Act. “Before the Land Reforms Act, more than 80% of the population struggled for necessities such as food, clothing, and shelter. The farmers were subjected to exploitation and their self-respect was at stake,” he recalled. More than one lakh people have benefited from the Land Reforms Act in South Canara, he informed. However, post the Act, he pointed out that the people who benefited from the scheme have adopted the right-wing ideology, and since Congress did not have cadre positions, and their activism was ineffective.
This idea was then contested by Dinesh Amin Mattu, who opined that the three prominent Congress in the leaders of the South Canara namely Janardhan Poojary, Verappa Moily and Oscar Fernandes are the reason for the downfall of the party as they failed to communicate the contribution of Congress Chief Minister Devaraj Aras, who played a pivotal role in the land Reforms Act along with B V Kakkilaya, to the people.
The event concluded with the Carnatic music concert by vocalist T M Krishna, violinist Vidushi Akkarai Subhalaxmi, and Mrudangam player K U Jayachandra Rao. The non-conventional performance included Carnatic songs about Allah and Jesus.
Featured Image Courtesy: Srijan Someshwar
Edited by: Disha Acharya