Carnatic singer Nithyasree’s LTTE song draws criticism

Chennai: Close on the heels of a controversy over Carnatic vocalist O S Arun’s decision to sing at an event in Chennai titled ‘Yesuvin Sangama Sangeetham’, now comes another trouble for a classical singer.

Nithyasree Mahadevan’s song glorifying LTTE chief Prabhakaran is trending in social media, drawing criticism and support.

Nithyasree’s ‘Engal Thalaivan Prabhakaran’ is set in Carnatic music and glorifies the slain LTTE boss. The lyrics even compare him with Lord Muruga.

The song was out in social media yesterday and has become a hot topic of discussion. While a majority expressed their shock and surprise, a few defended Nithyasree for singing the same.

Speaking to ‘News Today’, Kannan, a music connoisseur, said,”Though it seems a song recorded some time back, the lyrics were shocking. Music is divine. To use it to sing encomiums on the leader of a banned organisation is unfair. A profound singer who won many awards and accolades and entertaned rasikas over the years should have stayed away from singing the song.”

In a satirical tone, Ethirajan Srinivasan, a music-lover, tweeted,”I am sure Mahinda Rajapaksa would have given up on #LTTE, had he happened to listen to this rendering of Nithyashree, comparing Prabhakaran with Lord Muruga.”
However an ardent fan of Nithyasree, said,”Music has no language barriers and a singer needs to give her/his best in whatever s/he is upto.”

It may be recalled that a few days ago, Nithyasree saw protests for rendering a Christian song ‘Samaanulevaru prabho’.

However, she was quick to deny that it does not have semblance of any kind to saint Thyagaraja’s masterpiece ‘Rama nee samaana mevaru’ composed in Sankarabharanam ragam and apologised if she has inadvertently hurt anyone’s sentiments.

She said that she sang on Jesus only because she was happy to be an instrument to bolster communal peace and harmony. Meanwhile, OS Arun following criticisms in social media, chose not to participate in Yesuvin Sangama Sangeetham.

Apart from these two, Aruna Sairam and a couple of others including TM Krishna were also criticised and some in the social media demanded that they be not allowed to sing at the Saint Thyagaraja Aradhana festival at Thiruvaiyaru later this year.