Chennai: While the #MeToo movement gathered momentum across the country, the Madras Music Academy on Thursday (October 25) dropped seven Carnatic musicians from its list of performers for the Margazhi music festival.

Following allegations of sexual harassment against them, the Madras Music Academy president N Murali dropped vocalists N Ravikiran, OS Thyagarajan, mridangam players Mannargudi A Easwaran, Srimushnam V Raja Rao, Thiruvarur Vaidyanathan, violinist Nagai Sriram and musician R Ramesh from the list. This is a Carnatic music and dance festival, which is held in December every year.

The movement has taken over the country's entertainment, media, film and political fields and seems to be making it's way into the Carnatic music industry with some women artistes narrating their experiences on social media.

"In the wake of #Metoo movement, we cannot be oblivious to what is happening. We also want to express our solidarity with the victims of this alleged act," N Murali said.

The decision was communicated to the artistes through e-mail, he said, adding that it did not mean the academy was holding them guilty. Noting that merely naming was not a sufficient ground for barring an artiste, N Murali said the names were picked only after following due procedures that included consultation with unbiased people.

Asked if the artistes were blacklisted permanently, the director said it was only for this season, and a decision about the future is yet to be taken. "We also hope other organisations also take a stand on this," he said.


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