The irresistible Maestro Ilaiyaraja was scheduled to perform in Chennai on the evening of 28th December (tomorrow) in what would have been his second live and on-stage musical performance in as many as 6 years. The musical night is sponsored by Malabar Gold, a popular jewellery house based in Kerala.
In the charged atmosphere between the States of Tamil Nadu and Kerala over the Mullai-Periyar Dam, it was criticized by certain quarters that the ‘Maestro’ should reconsider his decision to hold the musical extravaganza. The Maestro has now said that he would either try to postpone the event for the time being or avoid hosting it on the scheduled it.
Ilaiyaraja, who has always refused to star in commercials, did star in the advertisement by Malabar Gold which has become quite popular thanks to his voice and the tune. Malabar Gold and Jaya TV were to jointly host the musical nite. The moment they got to know about the event, volunteers of Tamil movements congregated in front of Ilaiyaraja’s T. Nagar residence to urge Ilaiyaraja to reconsider his decision to hold the musical night.
After the police let them inside the Maestro’s residence, Ilaiyaraja’s aide received the petition from them asking the Maestro to respect Tamil sentiments and cancel the event. Ilaiyaraja, who was abroad, was informed of the contents of the petition. The Maestro then got in touch with the ACP of T. Nagar Police Station and told him that the contract to host the musical night was signed some six months back.
“After my wife’s demise recently, I haven’t agreed to host any programme anywhere. I am aware that hosting the musical night won’t go down well with Tamils and might amount to neglecting their sentiments. I respect Tamils and their sentiments and would try my best to postpone the event or cancel hosting the event altogether. Please convey this to the concerned activists,” said Ilaiyaraja.
Incidentally, Ilaiyaraja’s native village Panniyapuram is situated in Theni District which depends entirely on water from the Mullai Periyar Dam for its agricultural needs.