The Ramon Magsaysay Award Foundation list of awardees announced on Wednesday included the name of Carnatic singer T.M. Krishna, who will receive the award for “social inclusiveness in culture.”
His citation says: "He saw that his was a caste-dominated art that fostered an unjust, hierarchic order by effectively excluding the lower classes from sharing in a vital part of India’s cultural legacy. He questioned the politics of art; widened his knowledge about the arts of the dalits (“untouchables”) and non-Brahmin communities; and declared he would no longer sing in ticketed events at a famous, annual music festival in Chennai to protest the lack of inclusiveness. Recognizing that dismantling artistic hierarchies can be a way of changing India’s divisive society, Krishna devoted himself to democratizing the arts as an independent artist, writer, speaker, and activist.”
Hearty congratulations to Krishna.