This is the title of an article written by noted Carnatic singer Vidwan T.M. Krishna (TMK) in his website. The article can be read here. TMK primarily talks about the discrimination against women in Carnatic music and points out that such discrimination exists even today. This is certainly not the first time we are hearing or reading this. In fact, this topic has been dealt with in detail earlier in one of Indira Menon’s books titled “The Madras Quartet” (Roli Books, 1999). I have also heard/read leading female vocalists (ex. Vid Ranjani & Vid Gayathri) and male accompanists (ex. Vid Umayalpuram K. Sivaraman) talk about the same. However, what is significant is that:
- this time, a leading male artist (TMK) has come out and written his frank views on this topic
- the main artist in a concert (like TMK) often, if not always, plays a key role in the selection of accompanying artists
After seeing TMK’s real good intentions through this article, I am sure he would have started practicing what he is preaching or at least would have started thinking about how he can do his bit in this regard.
It would be really heartening to see everyone concerned with Carnatic music in general, and artists & organizers in particular, set aside any form of discrimination (based on caste, sex, connections/blood relations with big shots/famous musicians etc) and let talent find it’s own way to the top. The world would of course be a much better place to live in if this were to become true in all fields.