India’s legendary musician, AR Rahman’s recent concert in London took social media by storm, not because the show was a hit, but because of some disgruntled fans who walked away.
They walked out because they expected more Hindi songs, whereas there were more Tamil songs performed. In fact, the show was named in Tamil as ‘Netru Indru Naalai’ (Yesterday Today Tomorrow). However, several Hindi movie fans who attended the show walked out and vented their frustration that there were more Tamil songs than Hindi.
This triggered widespread argument where many came to the defence of the Meastro.
However, apart from what happened at the concert, the incident has triggered another discussion pertaining to how Tamil Nadu is looked at by the North Indian community.
When quizzed about the issue, one of the South Indian singers when asked about the issue said that Tamil Nadu too was part of India and why they were not willing to accept songs sung in a different language, which is also spoken in the country.
This could appear as a simple question at first. But, considering the issues that the State has faced with the Northern India, especially the Central Government, this question has a lot of depth in it.
The issue of Rahman’s concert is more or less sorted with Rahman himself clarifying the matter. However, the problem is much larger than the musician.
Tamil Nadu has been at the receiving end of several problems of the region and of the State. The most recent issue was the Centre’s move to ban ‘Jallikkattu’ a traditional sport of Tamil Nadu involving special breed of bulls.
The move triggered massive protests in the State where thousands of students gathered at the Marina beach in thousands.
The protestors accused the Centre of turning a blind eye on several issues faced by the State.
Tamil Nadu expressed its displeasure over the Centre’s inactiveness on the controversial Cauvery river dispute.
The Cauvery issue is a dispute between the States of Tamil Nadu and Karnataka. Tamil Nadu alleges that Delhi had failed to take a stand and address requests to divert the Cauvery river to the State from Karnataka.
Further, continuous requests to address the clash between Tamil Nadu fishermen and the Sri Lankan Navy were not acted upon till recently.
Therefore, in this context, it is not surprising that the concert took a North versus South twist.
The situation is even trickier considering the volatility of the Tamil Nadu State Government that has been wobbling ever since the demise of its former Chief Minister, Jayalalithaa Jayaram last year.
The State government has been struggling to gain firm footing due to internal struggles within the All India Anna Dravida Munnettra Kazhagam (AIADMK) after Jayalalithaa’s immediate successor O. Panneerselvam quit the party along with several others.
Panneerselvam accused Jayalalithaa’s close aide, Sasikala of influencing the party after Jayalalithaa’s death.
AIADMK’s political dilemma has been beneficial for its arch rival, the Dravida Munnettra Kazhagam (DMK), helmed by Muthuvel Karunanidhi.
The DMK which was on a downhill until Jayalalithaa’s demise, used the political instability to regain the support of the public.
The priority here for Tamil Nadu is to address its own problems before pointing fingers at the Central Government.
The State government needs to ensure stability in the region. Only then would it be able to convince the people and the Centre to assist its people in obtaining what is rightfully theirs.