CHENNAI: With each passing year, the entry of business houses in cultural arena has added strength to organisations. However, is it worthwhile to have the patronage with attached strings?
Music is the easiest way to the highest good seems to be an epigram which is easily understood. However, we have to evaluate the scenario. These days, the heterogeneous audience are at times highly polarised with biased minds. We require ‘aristotelian golden’ means to appreciate art. One thing has become clear — in the present situation, every rasika is trying to develop an intelligent appreciation of music. At least they try to differentiate between ragas, so as not to trouble one’s neighbour at the concert (Of course Nalli Kuppuswamy’s concert guide comes in very handy).
A word of advice to sabhas, which are run by people who know the element of music or who have a reverence to the ‘art eschewed’ harmful practices of favouring particular artistes each year. I beseech the sabha secretaries not to fall prey to commercialism and gate collection, when mostly the theory of captive audience exists. Sabhas should not be sentimental in selecting the same artiste again and again for inauguration and valedictory functions.
I am sure that with the proliferation of sabhas of varying sizes, tastes and ideals, we would certainly witness ‘renaissance in the cultural era’ and musical ambience, which would pervade throughout the marghazhi season. With the cooperation of musicians, rasikas, sabhas and critics, and the process of appreciation creates a permanent, inseparable bond, making the singer and listeners undivided. With each passing year, it is becoming evident that the entry of business houses in the cultural arena, with attached strings, has added strength to the base of the organisations. The sponsors are also making the sabhas richer.We have to ponder on this — is it worthwhile to have the patronage with attached strings?
It is time we realise that contact and public relations are unavoidable phenomena and do matter in getting programmes, and improving the kitty of sabhas. Everyone involved in this milieu should realise that the quality of art should be on the upward track, and if the present trend continues, we can see a plateau in the arena of cultural progression, which is slowly setting in now, seeing the diminishing enthusiasm of foreign visitors and rasikas.
I would like to conclude with a caveat that an opportunity to get an insight into the world of culture, infusing a genuine zeal, is being provided in the Marghazhi festival. But the creative fine arts need to be catered with divine spirit by all concerned, as this tradition can only be nurtured by tradition, and not by commercialisation of the forms. Failure to do so will result in sacrilege.