Airport Authority of India (AAI) and Society for Promotion of Indian Classical Music and Culture Amongst Youth (SPIC MACAY) had jointly organised a ‘Dance and Music in the Park’ programme on 17 -18 November, 2018.
AAI had invited many artists to its concert as evidently seen in their tweets promoting the concert, such as:
- Ustad Shahid Parvez Khan, Sitar Player
- T. M. Krishna, Carnatic Singer
- Reportedly, Sonal Mansingh, Odishi Dancer, and Priyadarsini Govind, Bharatanatyam Dancer were to perform in the concert too.
However, due to some reasons, the Airport Authority of India (AAI) postponed the event as announced in its press release, shown below:
But as soon as AAI came out with its press release postponing the event, certain media houses started giving it an ideological flavour saying that AAI cancelled the event after it was trolled for the participation of T.M. Krishna who reportedly has left-wing views.
Here is how the media reported the entire episode.
The Indian Express
Not only the media houses, but some self-proclaimed scholars have also attacked the government on the charge that it has prevented T.M. Krishna from performing at the concert.
Here are the Facts:
- The AAI Concert was not exclusively aT.M. Krishna concert as certain media houses are desperately trying to portray. There were many other artists like Ustad Shahid Parvez Khan, SonalMansingh and Priyadarsini Govind who were also to perform at the AAI concert.
Then the question arises, how is alleged trolling of AAI for one particularsinger linked with the postponement of the concert in which manyknown artists were to participate?Even in the past, organisers have had to postpone or cancel (here and here)the concerts due to various reasons like security clearances or last-minute changes in the schedule from the artists’ side etc.
- AAI has not ‘cancelled’ the concert as its press release (shown above) clearly uses the term ‘postponed’. Despite this, it appears thatin order to sensationalise the news, some media houses have reported this as AAI ‘cancelled’ the T.M. Krishna concert.
- AAI or the government has not prevented anyone including T.M. Krishna from performing anywhere in India. It is just that AAI has postponed its event due to some ‘urgent engagements’ as mentioned in the press release. This simply means that the artists will now be able to participate in this event later as and when it is rescheduled.
But a self-proclaimed scholar, Ramachandra Guha spun this into a fake narrative of barbarism implying how the government has attacked the freedom of expression of T.M. Krishna despite knowing the fact that T.M. Krishna can sing anywhere in India.
Those who attacked the AAI have conveniently forgotten the fact that it is an institution set up by an act of parliament. It is funded by the taxpayer’s money. It possesses all the rights to organise or postpone an event.
Moreover, AAI, in this case, has not cancelled the concert but has merely postponed it. This postponement is being painted wrongly that it is due to T.M. Krishna’s participation, forgetting the fact that there were many other artists participating in the event.
This fake attack on AAI shows the desperation of certain sections of media to paint everything as an ideological war or attack on freedom of expression. Also, this AAI concert is not a private event but a government program which cannot be demanded as a matter of right. AAI as a part of the government is mandated to organise events in the best interest of the public.