Famed Carnatic singer Sudha Raghunathan’s daughter Maalavika, a doctor by profession who lives in the US, fell in love with an African American Michael Murphy, who happens to be a Christian. Raghunathan did not have any problem with her daughter’s choice and the family has invited friends and relatives for a gala wedding to be held in accordance with Tamil traditions here on July 11.
Those who have a problem with Maalavika’s choice are the trolls who are letting their bigotry visible on social media by questioning how a Brahmin girl can fall in love with a Christian. Sudha Raghunathan, her husband Raghunathan and Maalavika have been the target of vicious trolls for the past few days who have even gone to the extent of spreading rumours that the entire family has converted to Christianity.
And it didn’t end there. Many Twitter users want music sabhas in Chennai not to allow Sudha Raghunathan to perform in the Marghazhi Season this December. Reason: Her daughter is getting married to a Christian.
Sudha Raghunathan is the latest in the long list of Carnatic musicians to face the fury of social media for no fault of theirs. Her colleagues O S Arun and Nithyashree Mahadevan too faced protests last year when they performed songs in praise of Jesus Christ in Carnatic ragas.
And the groom was targeted for his skin tone too. And an audio recording in which a functionary of a right-wing outfit from Coimbatore abuses the singer’s husband took the cake. Some went a step ahead by “advising” Tamil Brahmins to “raise their children” by telling imparting them knowledge about their rich traditions.
However, there were several others who called out the bigotry and supported the family, saying who Maalavika marries is her choice and no other person has any right to question the decision. “Who Sudha Raghunathan’s daughter chooses to marry is her daughter’s business and no one ese’s. To troll her or to speak about where can sing henceforth is totally unacceptable. She is a great artiste and will continue to be a great artiste. Bigots get off now,” political commentator and sports enthusiast Sumanth C Raman wrote on his Twitter page.
And there were some who “clarified” that the family was not converting to Christianity and the marriage is being solemnised according to Hindu traditions. “It is a Hindu wedding. No one is getting converted. The groom is much interested in Carnatic music & Indian culture. What’s your problem if Sudha Raghunathan’s daughter is marrying a foreigner? Shameful that one should degrade oneself to this level by commenting on personal matter,” a user who tweets through the handle Maithriim, wrote.