Actor-politician Kamal Haasan has been trapped in a controversy yet again, and this time it's related to poet-composer Sri Thyagaraja.
He commented that Sri Thyagaraja was 'begging in praise of Lord Rama'. Well, this comment has affected many.
Kamal Haasan’s Comment
Kamal Haasan, in a media interaction with Vijay Sethupathi, responding to a question on him doing commercial films, had said, "Idhu ticket pottu seiyira vayabaram dhane, dharmathuku naa paadra paatu illaye. Thygayyar, eppadi Ramanai potri Thanjavur veedhila pichai eduthu padittu irundhaaro, appadi patta kalai illaye."(This (filmmaking) business is all about selling tickets right, it's not like I am doing charity. It's not Thyagaraj kind of art, who begged in the streets of Thanjavur singing praises of Lord Rama.)
Petition Against Kamal Haasan
Kamal Haasan's statement hurt the Carnatic music fraternity and musician Palghat Ramprasad started a petition seeking an apology from the actor. Ramprasad told the Times of India, "Before coming out with this petition, I did my homework and watched the video multiple times. I may not be as famous as Kamal Haasan, but if I can be responsible by being this thorough, he should be responsible about what he is saying, too. He is well aware of this form of music and has learnt under Dr M Balamuralikrishna. He cannot hurt people's sentiments in order to get cheap publicity. It looks like there was a malicious intent to his statement as it was totally out of context. Over 16,000 people have signed the petition, and I hope it turns into a PIL. He has to apologise."
Bharat Sundar Says
"There are basic factual errors in what Kamal spoke. Sri Thyagaraja did not beg for alms or earn his living by singing songs. Unchavrithi is dharma and it should not be belittled. I don't want to approach this issue in a sentimental manner or assign any agenda to Kamal's statement. All I will say is it is factually wrong, and it would be nice if he apologised or rephrased what he said."
Ramanathan Iyer Expresses
"Kamal's remark was out of place and unnecessary. However, demanding an apology is giving too much importance to this issue. Sri Thyagaraja's legacy needs no validation. I just feel we are giving Kamal Haasan more mileage. Sri Thyagaraja's legacy is monumental and nobody needs to defend or attack it," said Bharat, a carnatic singer.
Gayathri Venkataraghavan Shares
"Unchavrithi simply refers to renunciation. It included community participation, where people donated small amounts of rice, pulses etc to saints/bhagavathars, who were solely involved in singing/praying for universal welfare. And this is not equivalent to begging. It was a unique way to bring together the Lord's devotees" said the vocalist.
Let's wait for Kamal Haasan's reply to it.