Following the callous vandalism of statues of Lenin, BR Ambedkar, Mahatma Gandhi, and EV Ramasamy – better known as Periyar – among others across India, musician TM Krishna has paired up with Tamil writer Perumal Murugan to stage a protest.
The protest is in the form of a song titled Works of Art (video above), with a rendition in the Carnatic style by Krishna of a poem written by Murugan. Set to Adi Tala and tuned in Kalyani Raga, the protest song raises its voice against the vandalism of statues in India.
Introducing the song, Krishna said:
“In the recent past, across this country, we have seen a spate of attacks on symbols of thought, symbols of diverse thinking, on people who represented various political, social, philosophical ideas...By attacking these statues, by vandalising them, by destroying them, all individuals who are indulging in these acts or supporting these acts, are sending us all a message: that they do not tolerate different thinking. That they will try to build a homogenous, monolithic, ugly India. And it is time that all of us get together to stop this nonsense.”
As Krishna also pointed out, the attacks aren’t simply on ideologies or people, but also on works of art created by artists. “This song,” he said, “...is a response to these acts of violence on symbols of thinking.”