Several Carnatic musicians have condemned Kamal Haasan's comment on Saint composer Tyagaraja during a recent video chat show with actor Vijay Sethupathi.
The actor-turned-politician's live conversation with Sethupathi, where he made the remark, has become the talk of the town. In the live video on IG, Kamal Haasan spoke about politics and religion. The actor also spoke about his past and future films. What infuriated Carnatic musicians and netizens was his sensitive remark on Saint Thayagraja in which he the composer a 'beggar'. In the video that saint Thyagaraja was ‘begging in praise of Lord Rama’.
Several Carnatic musicians have come together and signed a petition demanding an apology from the actor. Palghat Ramorasad, Carnatic musician and follower of saint Thyagaraja started the petition online. According to Palghat, the statements made by Kamal Haasan discredits the followers of Saint Thyagaraja. The petition called out Kamal Haasan for hurting Carnatic musicians and those who follow the Bhakti Marge. Until now, more than 11000 people have provided their signatures against the comments of the actor. Many renowned musicians from Caranatic background have signed the petition as well.
"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 and 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 Bhakti, and not agendas outside of that."
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