Carnatic singer TM Krishna. 

TM Krishna to Sing at a Delhi Concert on 17 Nov, Courtesy AAP Govt

The Delhi Government will host TM Krishna’s concert on Saturday, 17 November, days after the original event was cancelled due to an alleged online campaign against the Carnatic singer.

Krishna took to Twitter to announce that he would now sing on the AAP government’s invitation at the Garden of Five Senses, and the event will be inaugurated by Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia.

“I am singing in Delhi tomorrow, the Delhi government is hosting the concert which is going to held in Garden of Five Senses near Saket at 6:30 PM. I invite everyone.”
TM Krishna, Carnatic singer, as told to ANI

DELHI GOVT STEPS IN AFTER AAI CANCELS EVENT

The Delhi government stepped in a day after the Airport Authorities of India scrapped Krishna's 17 November concert.

Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia, who is also the cabinet minister for Art, Culture and Languages in the Delhi government, had reached out to Krishna and extended an invite for another concert, reported The Indian Express.

Krishna, who often finds himself in the cross-hairs of controversy for his outspoken views, had said earlier that the Delhi government was “making every effort to hold the concert on Saturday” and the final venue will be confirmed by Friday, 16 November.

WHAT WE KNOW

Krishna’s Delhi concert, scheduled for Saturday, was called off after an alleged online campaign by right-wing trolls, reported The Indian Express.

Krishna, however, said, “Give me a stage anywhere in Delhi on November 17, I will come and sing. We just can’t let ourselves be cowed down by these kind of threats.”

The AAI had tweeted earlier in November promoting Krishna’s performance, but the government body informed SPIC-MACAY late on 13 November via email that the concert was being called off.

Krishna was supposed to sing at a concert held as part of a two-day “Dance and Music in the Park” festival at Nehru Park, Chanakyapuri. The event was jointly organised by the Airports Authority of India (AAI) and the cultural body, SPIC-MACAY.

WHY AAI CANCELLED THE CONCERT

Speaking to The Indian Express, AAI chairperson Guruprasad Mohapatra denied that the concert was being called off because of online flak they received after inviting Krishna.

“Because of some exigencies of work, we are not in a position to go ahead with the dance & music concert jointly organised with SPIC MACAY on 17 and 18 November, 2018 at Nehru Park, New Delhi. Hence, we request you to kindly postpone to a new date and inform all concerned. The new date will be discussed with SPIC-MACAY soon,” the email said.

“We have some issues. Some exigency has come up and we are not free that day. Whatever note we have given in the media, that is all, there is nothing more I want to say on this.”
Guruprasad Mohapatra, AAI Chairperson, as told to The Indian Express

SOCIAL MEDIA CAMPAIGN AGAINST KRISHNA

Soon after Krishna retweeted AAI’s invitation on Monday, 12 November, a hashtag #DisinviteTMKrishna started doing the rounds on the micro-blogging site accusing AAI of using public funds to provide a stage to Krishna , who sings about “Jesus and Allah”, is “anti-India”, a “converted bigot” and an “Urban Naxal.”

Some trolls also tagged senior government functionaries including Minister of Railways, Coal, and Corporate Affairs Piyush Goyal and Minister of Civil Aviation Suresh Prabhu.

When the organisers were apprised of the tweets, they assured Krishna that they would ignore the trolls and hold the concert with additional security for the singer.

In August, a Maryland temple had cancelled his concert allegedly after he was accused by Hindutva activists of singing Christian hymns. He has been targeted by Hindutva supporters for including ideas of secularism and caste prejudice in his music.

SPIC MACAY, AAI ISSUE NEWSPAPER ADS

Days after announcing the ‘Music in the Park’ event, organisers Spic Macay and Air Authority of India issued advertisements in newspapers on Friday, 16 November, stating that the concert has been cancelled due to “urgent engagements” but new dates will be announced shortly.

(Photo: The Quint)
Notification carried by The Times of India on page 5 on Friday, 16 November. 

“Due to some urgent engagements, ‘The Dance and Music in the Park’ program jointly organised by AAI and SPIC MACAY, scheduled for 17th and 18th November, 2018 has been postponed and the new dates would by announced shortly. Inconvenience caused is regretted,” the notification in The Indian Express and The Times of India read.

The organisers, however, have announced the concert in newspapers featuring TM Krishna’s pictures even after they have cancelled the event.

(Photo: The Quint) 
Advertisement carried on Page 5 in The Indian Express on 16 November.