500 TV channels, and not one for classical music?

There are few locations in the world where a Grammy-winning musician descends to entertain a couple of hundred people on a tiny cross road that is a couple of hundred feet long, for a couple of hours.

But then “8th Cross, Vontikoppal” in Mysore is no ordinary spot on the map of classical music.

Before he commenced his jugalbandi with the violinist Mysore Manjunath on Monday, Pandit Vishwa Mohan Bhatt made an impassioned plea before the assembled cognoscenti.

“We have over 500 television channels across the country, many of them showing what is completely antithetical to our culture.

“We have dozens of music channels, which fill the air with film and pop and rock and bhangra and god knows what else.

“Just why is it so difficult in a land of so many rich patrons and sponsors that we cannot have a TV channel purely dedicated to classical music?”

Why, indeed?

Also read‘If it sounds good to your year, it’s Carnatic”

Can Carnatic music change the cheri pasangal?

Masth maja maadi, for I’m a WorldSpace widow

How did Dharwad become ground zero of music?

A one-fingered salute to our ossified philistines

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27 Responses to “500 TV channels, and not one for classical music?”

  1. Objectivist Mantra Says:

    What is classical music by the way? Could someone out here define it for me?

    Anything that is old, even if it is created by a hapless moron, becomes an “classical” or “antique” that the super-gullible elite will pay millions to buy it. But if a starving talented contemporary artist creates a really great music or work of art, the same elite will consider it to be worthless.

    Anything modern is not good enough for this elite who will only feed on stale intellectual food.

    There is old music that is really good, and there is also old music that is complete garbage, just as is the case of contemporary music.

    It is against the human sense of aesthetics to label something as “classical”, “historical” or “antique.” I am sick and tired of such terminology.

    Things should only be valued by the way they can be useful to individuals in present day world and in future.

    The concept of “classical” and “antiques” is a leftist conspiracy to thwart the development of contemporary and modern arts. Thank you.

  2. M Says:

    @ Objectivist Mantra.

    Your argument is right. Look at classical music that’s telecast on DD; its pure crap. Watching such performance makes one wonder what this whole fuss is about. The merit of Classical or Modern depends on the artist and not on the genre. In India we exploit our cultural reverence for everything classical to promote shady half-baked artists. Get rid of these scums and classical music will easily reach great heights.

  3. Manjunatha Kollegala Says:

    Isn’t Nadabrahma Auditorium of Chamundipuram, or were there two concerts of the same artists on the same day?

    Actually I attended this concert, as I just happened to pass by the auditorium. Felt bad that I did not even have the information, and felt further bad to see the auditorium largely empty; and further bad that the acoustics of the auditorium was so poor; with all this I felt so overwhelmed that none of these affected the enthusiasm and the spirit of the maestro! It was an excellent rendition, as usual; only sad that I came in a bit too late :(

    Has Mysore lost its name and fame for fine music!?

    Well, as for the caption of this article… that is democracy :(

  4. Narayana Says:

    @Objectivist Mantra

    I second you. More Indians must shun their atavistic leanings and start questioning like you.

  5. sanjeeva Says:

    Music should be heard and musicians (singers or players) need not be seen. I would prefer radio stations like Amritavarshini, which broadcasts classical and devotional music, rather than any TV channel.

  6. Objectivist Mantra Says:

    @M, @ Narayanana, I agree with both of you.

    the music telecast on DD is complete crap. If a private channel were to telecast such music it would go out of business. The DD is using “taxpayer’s money” to promote crap.

    This is a financial as well as intellectual scam. It is far worse than 2G and CWG scam.

    In 99.99% of the cases, the so called antiques, classical arts, which get touted in the media and in elite govt. circles, are complete crap. Some intellectuals create a hype over the work of an idiot, who then becomes the toast of the town.

    Auction houses like Sothebys are making billions by auctioning pottery or things like that created by retarded prehistoric morons from the age of Neanderthals. Why do people buy this kind of garbage?

    Art and Aesthetics are very controversial subjects. But it is an important subject. Humans need arts, just as they need food and air.

    What is good art, and what is bad never depends on the antiquity of the art. It only depends on the past, present and future value that it has for the human civilization.

    Any art that showcases the rational, logical aspects of humanity, and proves that humanity has a positive future, is good art. Everything else is pure crap fit only for the garbage dump.

  7. twistleton Says:

    “Becoming Indian” by Pawan K Varma might be a good place to start for the worthies above.

    Whether its crap or not (classical art evolves, leaving behind “crap” and absorbing all that’s good, so can’t be dismissed just like that), its original and its ours and we need to preserve it. Don’t throw out the baby with the bath water :D

    Of the mark as usual. Commies generally ask people to leave their distinguishing traditions and cultures behind – as Mao said. Only now the Chinese are rediscovering their ancients.

  8. Objectivist Mantra Says:

    @twistleton, I agree with you, Commies do ask people to leave their traditions and cultures behind. But they do so because they want to destroy the majority community. Selective use of art can also be a tool to destroy and subvert society.

    Commies know very well that society cannot function without art. Hence they try to promote the kind of “classical art” that is in line with their leftist way of thinking. DD is an example of how a contemporary medium is being used to promote classical arts that are in line with leftist beliefs.

    Lets not forget that Soviet Union and China under Mao had huge bureaucracy devoted to field of art.

    In fact, Mao’s young wife, was looking after the films department in China. She was part of the Gang of Four who promoted classical arts that could be part of communist propaganda.

    Even in west bengal, the seat of power is known as “Writer’s Building.” Majority of communist leaders are writers. But the point is do the works of these writers show human beings in good light or in bad light!

  9. mrs anupamaa mangalvede Says:

    in fact so many classical singers are there in this world.most of the junior artists are not so good with gramatically and after doing such exams from an institutions they feel that they are the best. but in classical music we need a pure gharana gayaki. and pure gayan. so now a days all buddying artists passes teir exam in a music and become a tutore and apply for a channels and they accept them. here the selection commitee must be from artists and that too a good performer. then these channels will get good singers.i am sorry to say this but the contestants from the competitions in the channels cant sing any other songs apart from the song which they learn at the time of competitions by staying with celebrity for a month or what ever. this should be banned by the people. dont go for temperary success. go for long time success.this will bring you a great happiness.even channel maker dont understand that the competitor is besur in swaras or not. and the judge acts accordingly. feel bad to know this. so many organisations are there who organise a good concerts but people need to support them.all the teams like cricket, hockey, bindra,film actors get good awards from government and compansation from the government. if tendulkar or some one make a record then they gave so many thisngs to him. but when pt. madhav gudi’s son prasanna gudi and daughter anupamaa made a record of guinness then what these government did? so this is the HAALAT OF OUR COUNTRY.wake up people, recognise good artists and give them a good opporchunity to perform and boost them then classicql music will be in swing.
    mrs anupamaa mangalvede.

  10. Satya Says:

    Who does not like to listen to MS, Balamurali, or Jesudas? Also Bhimsen Joshi, Pandit Ravi Shankar and other veterans of the past and present? There are many veterans in both Karnatak and Hindustani music even now performing at various Kacheries, dancers of fame in Bharata Natyam or Kuchu Pudi, and other similar arts. Some may not like these performances, but there are many who love to listen or see them.

  11. karihaida Says:

    so you want to get rid of support for art forms just because it is not in vogue or the populace is too dumb to embrace? Will you extend this argument to language, particularly our language kannada?

  12. FirstReality Says:

    Now that OM has declared his agreement to others who have declared their agreements to his comments, world can get on with its business.

    Classical art is a conspiracy of commies? Take a break.

  13. voyeur Says:

    I think it is wrong to conflate classical with antique or even historical. Classical as used in the context of classical music refers to a genre of music with a set of instruments. Not all old music is classical music. It may be traditional music but not necessarily classical. Not all of the classical music we hear today is ancient. And Indian Classical music isn’t even as rigid as it is made out to be. The Dasara time concerts must be beginning now. Please go listen to some of them. You will see the innovations that are taking place in classical music too.

    I would like to ask Churumuri – Why is there no folk music channel

  14. Pagan Says:

    Just like Carnatic music, Bhangra too is part of a culture of millions of people called the Punjabi people. Just because you don’t like Bhangra doesn’t mean you have to write the way you have w.r.t Bhangra.

    And yes, we need a channel focused on Carnatic music. Till then you can listen to Amruthavarshini channel on FM Radio.

  15. maisuru Says:

    Since when did writing crap become a mantra of objectivity ?

  16. M Says:

    @ Objective Mantra

    Would like to correct your misconception of ‘Writers’s Building’ in West Bengal. Even I was under the same impression till some time ago. Writer’s Building was build by the British when Calcutta was their Capitol. It was their Secretariat Building like Vidhan Soudha or North and South Blocks in Delhi. And this building housed their ‘writers’ or what we today know as ‘clerks’.

    These writers/clerks were English educated Bengali Brahmins who are today popularly known as ‘Babu’. The English took them all over the North India and for this reason is Babu also means Clerk even in Hindi. Also, a Babu is not just a clerk; he is also a barrier for progress and for this reason red tape in Hinglish is called Babudom.

    Their 2-page english education was Macaulay’s legacy. And so these Bengali Babus and by extension whole of the apparent ‘Bengali Intelligentsia’ can be described as Macaulay’s children.

  17. prakash Says:

    @Objectivist Mantra,
    All over the place

    “The concept of “classical” and “antiques” is a leftist conspiracy”

    Your father is classical to you .
    Since antiques are leftist conspiracy , will you desert him.

    Let’s say you desert him well there you got left to blame. Wow kudos to your rationality and ‘Objectivity’ which is also a right wing ‘Mantra’?

    You are exactly like Chidu and Manmohan. They start blaming Naxals and Lefts as the biggest threats if they can’t catch criminals in Jammu.

    Now Chidu has caught himself in 2G pants down by Subramaniam swamy who in the first time in history of Tamil Nadu has for two Tamils behind bars. I congratulate him for that. Hope you are not caught one day.

    we need FM Amruthavarshini or any other to be like Worldspace satellite channel to be accessible everywhere not only in cities but anywhere with low cost radio recievers and amplifiers and not costly sets.
    And the name should be Karnataka Sangeetha and not Carnatic. Understood!

  18. Objectivist Mantra Says:

    @M, thanks for the info.

    I thought that it is our beloved elitist comrades who in a fit of superciliousness named their seat of power as “writer’s building.”

    I hope you are right that in saying that this is a British era name.

    But why don’t they change the name. Because this kind of a name is an insult to every writer.

  19. Sangita Vidwan R.S.Nandakumar Says:

    I enjoyed reading the ideas and statements and declarations and beliefs. . . of various good thinkers and ‘thinkers’.
    as a classical musician and also having studied the historiography of our arts in some depth, i would like to say that the term ‘classical’ tagged to our two main musical steams in India happened only very recently. it is almost the post-independence era that coined this tag along with the term ‘folk’ or even tribal. earlier, the entire gamut of our music, dance. .. . art in general was termed as either ‘Marga’ or Desi. later even this dichotomy dissolved into ‘brihaddeshi’. artists performed their art and cared not call it by any particular name or style. until 17-18 cent. all texts on indian music and dance do not classify the music of their times as either ‘classical or non classical’. hence all the arguments that it is leftist in nature or origin or some other do not hold any validity.
    on the same lines, it also pains one especially from karnataka to read the word ‘carnatic’ associated with Karnataka music. we do not seem to have come out of the British raj Madras collector’s offices that called Karnataka Music as Carnatic because the ‘foreign tongue’ could not easily pronounce Karnataka. look what happned to Mumbaai .. . chitradurga (chitaldrug),, . srirangapattanam (saringipettai) etc. later our tamilian brothers gladly took this name for reasons well known now. ‘Carnatic Music’ is not Karnataka Music.
    some of you have called the ‘classical music and classical musician as scum ! well i am glad that they like all those pseudo sexy dirty popular moronic but ‘melodious’ pleasing to the ear nothing more just do the dew music !

  20. twistleton Says:

    I thought Carnatic music encompassed renditions in Telugu and also some Tamil, besides Kannada.

    I’m not sure Carnatic was meant to represent Karnataka.

  21. Nastika Says:

    Music is purely personal preference.If somebody likes classical (Carnatic, Hindustani or Western classical), so be it.

    I see few posts about about changing name of ‘Carnatic Music’ to ‘Karnataka Sangeetha’. But how to go about this?


  22. prakash Says:

    how innocent!
    how sure!
    one more tamil

    he doesn’t even know tamil nadu , andhra and maharashtra never existed before linguistic formation while name karnata used to represent region from godavari to kaveri was in usage from Nrupatunga’s reign.

    i dont know why churumuri allow these people to write about history as Kambara says they have siezed living with history, they have an eye of British on everything.

  23. Sangita Vidwan R.S.Nandakumar Says:

    @ prakash
    well said. you have said what i would have explained. thanks

  24. twistleton Says:


    i just asked a question. :D Hee hee, talk about patronizing.

    Now i will call it Carnatic music just to rebel. You see i don’t want to “hurt the linguistic feelings” of the other states, unfortunately sprung into being.

  25. prakash Says:


    exactly that’s what you can do. Losers like you can only rebel against their own people.
    The same happened with erstwhile Karnataka which marked its split time to time.

    People like you and now global citizens can only lick British boots and backstab their own people.

  26. twistleton Says:


    I agree. Cultural hegemony is a serious problem in the globalized world that needs urgent attention.

    People have to made aware, yes, but with understanding and empathy. Our traditional moorings have been artfully cut, the change is so insiduous that no one realizes the damage being done by aspiring to be a homogenized people.

    P.S – All back-stabbing is purely unintentional. :D

  27. Meriel Says:

    What halppened to the classical music channel?

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