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Friday, September 30, 2022

Musical Maestro Ilayaraja faces abuse for praising PM Modi

Musical Maestro Ilayaraja is facing abuse for praising PM Modi for his development projects. Raja wrote the foreword of a recently released book on Ambedkar and Modi. Taking objection to it Dravidianists have started abusing him for exercising his right to free speech.

The Blue Graph Digital Foundation has released a book titled ‘Ambedkar & Modi – Reformer’s Ideas, Performer’s Implementation’. Ilayaraja who has written the foreword to this book recalled PM Modi’s speech in 2016 calling Ambedkar the ‘Architect of Water and River Navigation Policy’ of Bharat.

In his foreword, he praises Modi as a ‘true leader with commitment and passion to serve the people, can ensure logical and meticulous execution’. Drawing parallels between the two leaders he says “Both these striking personalities succeeded against odds that people from socially disempowered sections of society face. Both saw poverty and stifling social structures from close quarters and worked to dismantle them. Both dreamt big for India, but both are also practical men who believe in action rather than mere thought exercises.”

He also says that if Ambedkar was alive he would be proud of PM Modi for his reformist moves like abolishing triple talaq and bringing schemes like Beti Bachao Beti Batao. Blue Kraft Foundation’s Twitter handle had tweeted the excerpts of Ilayaraja’s foreword on April 14 on the occasion of its release.

It attracted the attention and drew the ire of Dravidianists who cannot stand hearing a different opinion from others much less a celebrity like Ilayaraja. They went to the extent of trending a hashtag comparing the Maestro to hair(hair is considered useless/invaluable and often used as a term of abuse in Tamil).

While these people abuse Ilayaraja for exercising his right to express himself freely, they had supported AR Rahman when he tweeted a dehinduised illustration of Tamil Annai (Tamil Mother, usually depicted as a goddess drawing inspiration from the illustration of Saraswati). AR Rahman had tweeted it after Home Minister Amit Shah’s remarks about learning Hindi, an Indic language, instead of English as the link language.

Dravidianists may abuse Ilayaraja as they wish. But, be it writing a symphony for Thiruvasagam, Tamil spiritual hymns, extending financial help to renovate the Raja Gopuram of Thiruvannamalai Arunachaleswarar temple and consecration, Raja has done more to Tamil language and Tamil society for his abusers to smear his character or career.

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