Maverick Carnatic singer and Magsaysay award winner T M Krishna has added more fire to the ongoing controversy over Christian songs being rendered in Carnatic music by saying he would henceforth release a Carnatic song every month on either Jesus or Allah. He also released on his Facebook page a Christian song “Saruvesura”.
Krishna’s Facebook post appeared soon after another Carnatic singer Nithyashree Mahadevan made a clarification in her Facebook posting that she does not endorse or support religious conversion by singing Christian songs set in Carnatic music ragas. She also said she did not have any ulterior or financial motive in singing the Christian song “Samaanulevaru Prabho” in “Sresta” album.
The controversy broke after an announcement that another Carnatic singer O S Arun would perform “Yesu Sangama Sangeetham” in Chennai on 25 August. The singer has since cancelled the concert owing to other engagements. Apart from these two, Aruna Sairam and a couple of others were also criticised and some in the social media demanded that they be not allowed to sing at the Saint Thyagaraja Aradhana festival at Thanjavur later this year.
Krishna’s move to come up with a Carnatic song on Jesus or Allah every month was welcomed as well as opposed. One of those opposing Carnatic singers singing Christian songs said the opposition was in view of these songs being used for conversions. “The main concept behind conversions is to make Christianity sound like its the same as Hinduism. That's how people lure others,” read another comment.