The Airports Authority of India on Wednesday postponed an event in New Delhi at which Carnatic singer TM Krishna was scheduled to perform on November 17.
Krishna’s concert was to be part of a two-day festival at Nehru Park in Chanakyapuri organised by the airports authority and the Society for Promotion of Indian Classical Music And Culture Amongst Youth (SPIC-MACAY).
The postponement came after Internet trolls accused the AAI of using public funds to sponsor an “anti-India” musician, The Indian Express reported. Krishna was attacked for being a “converted bigot” and an “urban Naxal” who sang about Jesus and Allah. The trolls also tagged several senior government officials such as Minister of Railways, Coal and Corporate Affairs Piyush Goel and Minister of Civil Aviation Suresh Prabhu in their tweets.
In response, Krishna said he was willing to perform anywhere in Delhi on November 17. “We just can’t let ourselves be cowed down by this kind of threats,” he added.
The airports authority told SPIC-MACAY on Tuesday night that the concert has been called off. “Because of some exigencies of work, we are not in a position to go ahead with the dance & music concert jointly organised with SPIC MACAY on 17th and 18th November, 2018, at Nehru Park, New Delhi,” the government agency said in an email. “Hence, we request you to kindly postpone to a new date and inform all concerned. The new date will be discussed with SPIC-MACAY soon.”
Airports Authority of India Chairman Guruprasad Mohapatra, however, claimed the event was not postponed because of the criticism on social media. “We have some issues,” he told The Indian Express. “Some exigency has come up and we are not free that day. Whatever note we have given in the media, that is all, there is nothing more I want to say on this.”
Dancers Sonal Mahasingh and Priyadarsini Govind, and sitarist Shahid Parvez Khan were also expected to perform at the event.