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Using Gundecha Moral Turpitude to Undermine Bhāratiya Traditions

July 5, 2021 Authored by: Dr. Subroto Roy

Recent allegations by female students of rape and other sexual misconduct against the now infamous Dhrupad singers Gundecha Brothers at their Dhrupad Sansthan in Bhopal, MP has opened a can of worms. It has saddened the entire Dhrupad community and it is natural that Dhrupad students, practitioners, and teachers condemn these acts in the strictest possible terms.

Yet, there is definitely more to it than meets they eye. An alleged crime is being attributed to the ancient Indian system of education – the guru-shishya parampara.

A group of self-styled music masters doubling up as backers of the infamous ‘Tukde Tukde Gang’ have started a social media campaign against the revered Guru Shishya tradition itself, taking the Gundecha case as a starting point. Interestingly, some members of this ecosystem are also supporters of recent farmers’ protests.

Shubha Mudgal who participated in the anti CAA protests at Shaheen Baugh is also a favourite of this gang. One of the leading lights of the gang, T. M. Krishna is the one who calls himself a ‘traditional Carnatic’ singer. 

T.M.’s hypocrisy is clearly evident when he attacks the idea of tradition itself and especially of Guru-Shishya parampara. Being a favourite of The Hindu newspaper and of the Leftist Kerala government, he is given high visibility for being ‘well known for engaging with, and dismantling, long-held notions on caste and gender privileges in art…’

No wander why in 2016, he was awarded with the Ramon Magsaysay Award for ‘his forceful commitment as artist and advocate to art’s power to heal India’s deep social divisions, breaking barriers of caste and class to unleash what music has to offer not just for some but for all…’

The gang which is now hijacking the narrative and converting a criminal act into the failure of  heritage, is essentially attempting to defame India abroad and create hatred for our culture amongst Indian artists. It is easy to see through the nefarious plans of these typical ‘andolan jeevi-s’ (whose pots boil by way of protests). Note, that foreigners are very keen on learning Dhrupad music of India.

They are curiously silent over yesterday’s suicide by a PhD student Sonia who was allegedly being forced into sex by her supervisor. Now they are not saying that the entire modern education system should be thrown down the drain. 

The story tellers of this narrative have ridiculed the guru-shishya tradition, while keeping mum about the innumerable such cases pending in the Western world. It is clear that these ‘artists’ like to bootlick those who pay them in Dollars.

The box item (which is a tip of the iceberg) shows top bands of USA which have serious allegations pending against them, yet these leftist vultures who want to shred all our Sanatana systems to pieces, didn’t have the guts to call them out in their hypocritical statements all over the social media. Their names are not being taken merely to ensure that no further publicity is given to them. But the issue needs to be addressed.

Nick Carter (Backstreet Boys)

Accused of rape

Evan Stephens Hall (Pinegrove)

Accused of sexual coercion

Jesse Lacey (Brand New)

Accused of sexual abuse and solicitation of explicit photographs from a minor

Ben Hopkins (PWR BTTM)

Accused of sexual assault

Matt Mondanile (Real Estate/Ducktails)

Accused of sexual assault

Alex Calder (solo artist)

Accused of sexual assault

Ruben Gallego (Beach Slang)

Accused of sexual assault

Ethan Kath (Crystal Castles)

Accused of sexual assault and abuse of former bandmate Alice Glass

Jake McElfresh (Front Porch Step)

Accused of lascivious communication with underage girls

Ian Watkins (Lostprophets)

Currently in prison for multiple sexual offenses

Heathcliff Berru (publicist)

Accused of sexual assault and harassment

Kirt Webster (publicist)

Accused of sexual assault

Twiggy Ramirez (Marilyn Manson)

Accused of rape

William Bensussen (Gaslamp Killer)

Accused of rape

Dr. Luke (Producer)

Accused of sexually, physically, verbally, and emotionally abusing the singer Kesha.

R. Kelly

Accused of several sexual relationships with teens

Luke Rockets (With Confidence)

Accused of sexual harassment of a minor

Glenn Harvey (Moose Blood)

Accused of sexual assault

Shaun White (Bad Things)

Accused of sexual assault

The Red Hot Chili Peppers

Band members accused of sexual harassment

Russell Simmons (Def Jam Recordings)

Accused of sexual misconduct

Source: Childers, E. Breakthrough Radio. https://www.btrtoday.com/read/featured/the-long-list-of-music-industry-figures-accused-of-sexual-misconduct/

The very people who are raising their voices against the tradition have learnt under guru-s. They forfeit the right even to hold the tanpura (drone) in their hands if they ridicule the system itself. They forget that the tradition is not limited to Dhrupad, but to Khayal as well as the Veda-s, Vedanga-s, Vedanta-s, etc. Or is it that their agenda is to defame and dismantle this tradition so that our heritage is ultimately lost which was the agenda of their colonial masters? Are they infected with the Stockholm Syndrome?

They perhaps very well understand that Indian knowledge systems are communicated from one generation to the other by the oral-aural tradition which is enshrined in the very guru-shishya tradition that they ridicule. 

The left ecology has not only permeated our educational institutions but also our arts and other cultural domains. I know even of Sanskritists who subtly undermine the best traditions of our ancient land, like the Vaada (argumentation) tradition, or the Dhrupad music tradition itself.

This is part of a narrative strategy to pick up a story of crime to blow it out of proportions and allege systemic ills in Indian systems. These, they expect would have far reaching consequences on our heritage and practices. 

I would only tell them to stop day dreaming and face the fact that their eco-system is fast shrinking and what they’re doing is holding on to straws, but they will ultimately sink.


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