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Posts Tagged ‘women’

My friend Balaji Santhanam translated my the post I made on this subject yesterday. Thank you Balaji for taking the time to do this.

Yesterday, Chinmayi published a list of people in Carnatic music who crossed the lines with Women.

So, what is acceptable behavior? Is it true that they were affected? Can these be false allegations? If the accuser is unknown, can’t anyone can say anything about anyone else?

Questions, questions and more questions…

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It is not easy to find answers for these questions. But if we say that we need to find the answers before we can talk about this, it will take another hundred years to even utter a word.

Being a Carnatic music fan for many years, I have had the opportunity to move with many artists and students. After starting Parivadini, I got a chance to move with sabhas, their office bearers and “behind the scene” controllers. From that experience, I can say that let there be no doubt that this field is second to none in crossing the limits with women.

As far as music is concerned (could be the same with other fields too), it our fault that we put the artist in the same high pedestal as the art. The greatness of music is such that it can make the musician and the music seem inseparable in glare of the stage, when seen from a distance. But mirages don’t become the reality. The greasepaint has to come off of the stage.

Does this include only artists?

I know a girl student who stopped learning because an organizer took her inside the room telling the guru, while she was tuning her Tampura, “Send the disciple in. I have made special hot jeera water for you”

There are teachers who put conditions like this on the first day: “I may be free at any time. Even if I call you in the middle of the night, you need to send your daughter. Music isn’t easy”.

Whatever be the talents, for a musician to take up music as his profession a lot of compromises have to be made. After organizing concerts at a small level for just five years at Parivadini, we get calls from hundreds of aspirants (mostly their parents) asking for chances from all over the world. Often times, there is a desperation and anxiety in those who seek these opportunities. When a youngster’s father asks, “Is there anything else to be done saar”,  the dirty game has the chance to start right there. “Organizing concerts is an arduous task. We have to add some dirt to the mix” is how people start getting into the mud. Who is to draw the line on what is proper and what is not. It is the individual’s discretion.

In this situation, it is naive to believe that we can protect everyone just by emphasizing on what is morally right. How many ever ads there are about the importance of wearing helmet, it is the fine (could be just a token amount) that makes most to wear them. Given the present scenario, it is the fear of being outed that can bring down the violations against women.

Because of this, some innocents may be accused. However, we may have to bear that as a small price we pay for the larger good.

Without focusing on the names or the credibility of the accusations or the gossips around that, each of us should take this opportunity to accept our basic responsibility to at least honestly introspect and answer the tough questions for ourselves.

Am not saying this for others. Just once for myself.

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