Carnatic vocalist TM Krishna gets Indira Gandhi award 2017

Carnatic vocalist TM Krishna gets Indira Gandhi award 2017

Carnatic vocalist TM Krishna Tuesday received the Indira Gandhi Award for National Integration.

Former Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh and Congress Vice-President Rahul Gandhi had conferred the award on Krishna at a function here.

The award citation said Krishna, winner of the Magsaysay Award 2016, is not only one of the prominent vocalists in the rigorous Carnatic tradition of Indian classical music, but also an activist who has worked on creating egalitarian spaces for music and breaking down caste-barriers in the form.

The award has been conferred each year on the late Prime Minister's death anniversary. Krishna has been honoured for his services in promoting and preserving national integration in the country.

Congress President Sonia Gandhi, who should have presented the award, was absent citing ill health. Her deputy and son Rahul Gandhi read her speech at the function.

Reading out Sonia's speech, Rahul said the idea of India that Indira Gandhi fought for had been "thrown fundamentally into question by rising intolerance."

"A view of Indianness that is one-sided, discriminatory, even warped, is being thrust upon us," Rahul said.

Without naming the Modi government, the Congress vice president said: "the country's heritage is now in the hands of those who are bent upon rewriting history, imposing falsehood and unscientific ideas on our people and stifling independent thinking."

In his acceptance speech, Krishna lauded Manmohan Singh's apology to the nation for the 1984 anti-Sikh riots that followed Mrs. Gandhi's assassination by her Sikh bodyguards. He accused the current dispensation for failing to express regret for the "genocide" carried out in 2002 in Gujarat.

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