T M Krishna enthrals Delhiites; Sisodia calls huge turnout ‘political statement’https://indianexpress.com/article/india/t-m-krishna-enthrals-delhiites-sisodia-calls-huge-turnout-political-statement-5451669/

T M Krishna enthrals Delhiites; Sisodia calls huge turnout ‘political statement’

Krishna, whose concert in the city was scrapped by the Airports Authority of India (AAI), performed at the Garden of Five Senses in Delhi on an invitation of the AAP government.

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Carnatic vocalist T M Krishna’s concert in the city was scrapped by the Airports Authority of India. (Express Photo by Amit Mehra)

Carnatic vocalist T M Krishna Saturday enthralled Delhiites at the Garden of Five Senses here, with Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia calling the huge turnout a “political statement to save the country’s diversity”.

Krishna, whose concert in the city was scrapped by the Airports Authority of India (AAI), performed here on an invitation of the AAP government.

“Awesome performance by @tmkrishna ..and amazing response by people of Delhi. Superb! Thanks Delhi! For being here. It’s not only about music… Your presence here is a political statement to save the diversity of the country,” Sisodia posted on Twitter.

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Carnatic vocalist T M Krishna Saturday enthralled the audience with his performance at the Garden of Five Senses Saturday. (Express Photo by Amit Mehra)

The veteran vocalist’s November 17 concert organised by the AAI was allegedly cancelled following a troll campaign against the Magsaysay award winner, who was called an “urban Naxal” and “converted bigot” among other epithets.

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The AAP-led Delhi government had on Thursday stepped in to organise a performance by Krishna, who has often found himself in the cross-hairs of controversy over his outspoken views.

On the cancellation of Krishna’s concert by the AAI, the AAP said in a statement, “This is an attack on people who exercise their right to freedom of speech to voice their opinion against the government. This is textbook fascism in force.

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T M Krishna with Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal and Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia at the concert. (Express Photo by Amit Mehra)

“AAP was born with the help of activists and we value freedom of expression highly. We will not allow fascist forces to dictate what anyone can think or speak in this country,” it said.

“Freedom of speech and expression is under severe threat under the Modi government. It is not shy to use government machinery to intimate critics. They encourage abusers to attack people on social media who dare to speak against the government, creating an atmosphere of fear and hostility,” the statement added.

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Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal and Deputy Chief Minister with CPI(M) leader Sitaram Yechury (centre) in the audience during T M Krishna’s concert. (Express Photo by Amit Mehra)

The ruling party in Delhi added that BJP’s students wing, ABVP had recently got renowned scholar Ramachandra Guha’s address cancelled in Gujarat.

“These are clear indications that this (central)government does not want to allow any form of diversity or dissent. It says ‘whoever won’t fall in line will have to face consequences’,” the AAP said.