The news of the Magsaysay having been conferred on T.M.Krishna came out this morning. Actually, one could not understand why in the world the award was conferred. He is a singer. If it is for that, then he is a rather very mediocre singer among those singing classical music in Tamil Nadu. No cutcheri of his is worth a second listening. He just delivers what he has learnt. Somewhat like a music instructor belting it out. He doesn’t even deserve to sit in a chair that Sanjay Subramaniam has gotten up from.
But it seems the award has been given for his ‘humanitarian’ activities. If one enquires about the nature of those ‘humanitarian’ activities, they point to his ‘progressive’ articles in the English daily, The Hindu. We are told that he attempts to take music to the poor and less privileged. Hasn’t this ever happened before? Has he made any lasting contribution towards this end? Krishna’s contribution, if any, is having written shallow and strident articles without any deep understanding, by picking up ideas opposed to tradition as well as ‘progressive’ slogans. Gnani’s superficial articles are any day many times better than what Krishna has turned out.
Generally, it is the wont of Brahmins to hop a few feet more in an attempt to mask or pass over their original identity. Those who secretly hide their Brahminism under their armpits generally make shriller sounds. As T.M. Krishna makes such blaring protestations, I have always distrusted him and his The Hindu-Iyengarish background.
Everything I happened to learn about him only reinforced that doubt. He is somebody who has no connection with Tamil cultural mores. He hails from a rich upper class family that has no introduction to Tamil literature and its artistic values. He is an empty vessel that makes noise in public space, in a politically correct vocabulary with an eye on sensationalism.
So, it is his The Hindu background alone that constituted the eligibility for the award. If not for this award, it wouldn’t have been necessary for a person of my calibre to even deign to comment on such an unbefitting person. The conferment of this award is wholly a case of the rich and powerful making internal adjustments to crown one amongst themselves. From here, he may go on to be conferred the Gnanpith for his naive articles. He has the money power and media power to make a bid even for the Noble. In recent times, this (the Magsaysay) has been a moment of much revulsion.
(Translated by Vamanan)