Respect plural voices: artists (Article in Business Standard)


Correlating freedom of expression with democratic values, two vocalists today said culture and democracy go parallel in the society to establish “pluralism of voices”.

Carnatic vocalist T M Krishna and Manganiyar community vocalist Anwar Khan Manganiyar, presented a musical morning emphasising importance of culture and democracy at Jawahar Kala
Kendra’s open air amphitheatre here.

In about three hours of concert both vocalists delved into specific themes of culture and democracy through their art.

Explaining Anwar’s message given in the form of music and folklore, Nikhil Dey of Mazdoor Kisan Shakti Sangathan (MKSS) said “Anwar told audience that his art is rich, but his community is poor. As long as we sing, till then public talk, after that we are no where”.

“It is responsibility of every one to respect plural voices…There is an appeal by both vocalists for pluralism in the society…It is a warning that you (government) cannot have dictatorship of either popularity or majoritarian … ” Dey explained.

“Both artists are of the opinion that one voice can not dominate the society… We do not sing to muster clappings… these voices be linked with democracy,” Dey elaborated.

Meanwhile, Aruna Roy, social and political activist, said, culture has always been influencing and dominating our lives and people were forgetting music’s importance.

“There was a need for understanding culture and democracy as the market forces have captured citizens’ choices, and we are all victim of this market force,” Roy, who interacted with audience and
artists here, said.

She also underlined artists’ apathetic situation as they were given low remuneration. A website on artists would be made soon so that they could be approached directly by music lovers and others, she added.

Roy also expressed grief over the Dalit student Rohith Vemula’s suicide at Hyderabad Central university, saying it was shameful.

“It is strange where the country is going… Is it not a disintegration in the society. Now there is a need for unity and communal harmony in the society,” she added.