on Jan 27, 2018
NDA government announced to award ace music composer Ilayaraja the Padma Vibhushan. Leading English daily called the decision as "Dalit outreach" and this statement has sparked backlash.
Ilayaraja's selection "is important against the backdrop of Dalit movements in Gujarat led by Jignesh Mevani and the Bhima Koregaon uprising of Maharashtra," the English Daily The New Indian Express said in its Chennai edition.
The report in the English daily did not comprise of any quotes that might support such a conclusion from government sources or analysts. It drew criticism from several social media users. Even, media persons faulted the English daily for writing such cheap article.
Hashtag #Ilayaraja_Insulted is trending in social media. Here are the tweets of few noted media persons and others:
Savukku Shankar, “Shame on you @NewIndianXpress Now one can understand the amount of venom you carry against dalits & minorities. But its no surprise, you will continue to spew such venom, as long as @sgurumurthy continues to guide you. #Ilayaraja_Insulted.”
Sumanth Raman, "Ilayaraja given Padma Vibhushan to appease Dalits?What warped thinking!!! Honouring one of the Gods of music is a matter of pride for every Indian. Appalling headline @NewIndianXpress #Ilayaraja"
Kasthuri Shankar, “#Ilaiyaraja is a national treasure. God's have no caste. Music knows no walls.”
Jiten Gajaria, “Heard an #Ilayaraja song yesterday. It was awesome. Today after media informed me he was a Dalit, I heard the song again. It was still swesome.”
It may be mentioned here that, Ilayaraja who ruled the South Indian music department for decades already has a Padma Bhushan.