Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman today slammed Doordarshan for abruptly cutting off the live telecast of the annual Tyagaraja Aradhana to air an advertisement and termed it “thoughtless” and “insensitive”. The musical event is held to honour Telugu saint-composer Tyagaraja in Tamil Nadu’s Thiruvaiyaru between January to February. This is a week-long festival where various Carnatic musicians from across the world converge at his resting place. Prasar Bharati CEO S S Vempati termed the incident as “unfortunate” and assured of “strict action”. Earlier, the minister had thanked the channel for live telecast of the musical tradition. “Thanks @DDNational for live telecast of this musical tradition. Such a treat to watch so many young aspiring musicians, as with every year, joining in the #Aradhana . Music lovers look forward to re-energise themselves by linking here. #Tyagaraja,” she said in a tweet. However, her excitement turned to anger when the channel cut-off the programme to air an advertisement. “Yo @DDNational what! You couldn’t wait for a few moments more for the Pancharatna Krithi-s to be completed. Advertisement and more. #Aradhana #Tyagaraja. Thoughtless, insensitive,” she tweeted.
Replying to her tweet, Vempati said, “Absolutely unfortunate madam. Strict action will be taken.” Saint Tyagaraja (4 May 1767–6 January 1847) composed thousands of devotional compositions, most in Telugu and in praise of Lord Rama, many of which remain popular today. Five of his compositions called the Pancharatna Kritis (five gems) are often sung in programs in his honour. “Now live on @DDNational #Aradhana #Tyagaraja in sweet #Telugu, sung by all. Tyagaraja’s bhakti was the longing of an earthly being to unite with his maker who he saw in Sri Rama. Tyagaraja cared nothing about living in poor financial condition, just kept pouring out his heart,” the minister had tweeted.