Noted Carnatic singer Nithyasree Mahadeven has said that a Christian song “Samaanulevaru prabho’ she sung does not have semblance of any kind to saint Thyagaraja’s masterpiece ‘Rama nee samaana mevaru’ composed in Sankarabharanam ragam and apologise if she has inadvertently hurt anyone’s sentiments.
In a Facebook post, Mahadevan said she was extremely pained to read the accusations against her that have gone viral. The social media has been agog over the last couple of days over the song ‘Samaanulevaru prabo’ as part of a Christian album “Sresta”. 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.
“I sang this song on Jesus only because I was happy to be an instrument to bolster communal peace and harmony,” she wrote, adding that she didn’t have any ulterior or financial motive. Stating that she had great respect for all composers, especially the Trinity of Thyagaraja, Muthuswami Dikshitar and Syama Sastri, she said she would never attempt to sing a Thyagaraja kriti replacing ‘Rama’ with any other name. “It would be completely unacceptable,” she said.
Mahadeven also said she was against religious conversion of any kind and wouldn’t engage in any act that would endorse or propagate such things. She assured that she would never ever commit or abet in an act that would tarnish “our rich tradition and heritage” and would continue serving for the cause of music.
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