NEW DELHI: The Kejriwal government in Delhi has opened its doors to Carnatic singer T.M.Krishna after his weekend music concert in the capital was called off by the sponsors the Airports Authority of India without public explanation. This followed a tweet by Krishna announcing the concert, after which he was mercilessly trolled with the demand that the central government body call off the music event.

The sponsors backed off with the explanation that something else had come, just four days after the invites for the concert at Nehru Park had been sent out. "We would like to inform that due to some urgent engagements, 'Dance and Music in the Park' programme jointly organized by AAI and SPICMACAY, scheduled on 17 and 18 November has been postponed and new dates would be announced shortly. Inconvenience is regretted," Airports Authority stated. Others scheduled to perform along with Krishna included Sonal Mansingh, Priyadarsini Govind and Shahid Parvez Khan.

After the event was cancelled Krishna reached out to supporters saying that he would perform in Delhi regardless. Immediately several organisations offered to host him with Delhi government’s Culture Minister Manish Sisodia now in direct touch with the singer to finalise the venue and the event.

In an interview to The Citizen a few weeks ago Krishna had discussed the right wing attack on him just because he had chosen to highlight the secular ethos of Carnatic music. “There is nothing accidental about it, these threats, and horrendous efforts to intimidate artists. Yes Bollywood has completely deserted us, it will never speak up,” he said shortly after he along with other Carnatic music exponents had received threats for singing Christian hymns. While some apologised Krishna went public with his decision to defy this bullying, and release one such Carnatic song for Jesus or Allah every single month.

“ I will not allow them to take away our space,” he said. Are you scared, we asked. “Well not scared, but yes of course this all enters your consciousness, and you do watch over your shoulder,” Krishna said. “But I decided to call them out, this is the risk one takes, but we cannot allow our beautiful country to be so destroyed”, he added passionately.

Krishna admitted that there were many musicians who wanted to speak out, but were afraid. .“We should form secular cultural unity in every town, and bring people together to resist this oppression with music, dance, drama. There has to be action, and not necessarily at just the political level. These cultural centres need not be of any political party, but of like minded persons who care about the work that has gone into 70 years of freedom, and are determined not to let India be destroyed,” he added.

The Delhi response after his concert was cancelled gives strength to his sentiment, with the state government now coming forward to host the event regardless of the trolls. And in the process underlining the cultural unity Krishna has been advocating.