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Written by Suanshu Khurana
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December 9, 2020 9:10:57 am





TM Krishna (proper) had steered Perumal Murugan to write down a track for farmers. (Source: T M Krishna/YouTube)

…Is this ceaselessly, we fear,

Scorched lands are all what we get?

We, poor, beg and beseech

Is this our destiny?

When will the rain include the scent of the earth

The strains have been written by Tamil creator Perumal Murugan about two years in the past. Born right into a household of farmers in Kootapalli, a village in Nammakal district in Tamil Nadu, the verse was initially written within the Tamil dialect spoken within the area. The strains are set in his rural world of farmlands, which so typically makes it to his writings. The poetry, in contrast to his prose writing, is very private and thus poignant and from the perspective of somebody who’s “deeply entrenched in the culture of an agriculturist”. It’s the sorrow and the sensitivity of the strains that moved his buddy and Carnatic classical vocalist TM Krishna after they have been written. Krishna had steered Murugan to write down a track for the farmer and these strains described the battle with highly effective imagery. The battle of ready for rain, “the metaphor for hope”. A few days in the past, Krishna determined to set the piece to a tune and current it as a music video on-line, with Hindi and English subtitles. A lament concerning the farmers and their plight, it was launched on social media on December eight.

What shocked Krishna probably the most throughout the protests was “how we’ve completely taken away the agency of the farmer”. “Diminishing the mind, the body and the work of farmers is a problem. We’ve done this for generations and the song, in a very subtle manner, expresses that. It’s only when farmers have died or when farmers are asking that we talk about them. So I called Murugan and said that the song should come out now. This is the right time,” stated TM Krishna in a dialog with The Indian Express. “The conversation goes something like, they don’t know, they are being misled. You have a bunch of people sitting in Delhi who believe that they can make decisions for farmers, will that ever happen in the corporate world? If Ambanis and Adanis had an objection, you would have them at the Finance Ministry. It’s like men making laws for women, without having women at the table,” he added.

Set in raag Dhanyasi, a Carnatic classical raga used to painting bhakti and devotional items, the track is in a conventional kirtana format. Murugan opens the piece with a brief couplet from Tirukkural — Thiruvalluvar’s well-known writings. ‘He who toils to raise his food can be said to live by right, he who doesn’t is a cringing parasite’, recites Murugan in Tamil. He provides how the lifetime of a farmer is stuffed with sorrow and the way rain devastates each by abundance and absence. Krishna opens the track with the phrase metangaad, a neighborhood phrase which is from the dialect of Tamil that Muragan writes in and never widespread to city spoken Tamil within the state. “It literally means drylands and the word comes from the dialect of the farmer, of the common man, which is why when people hear it, it will be readily understood,” says Krishna.

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‘The drylands are parched’, writes Murugan, ‘They have become like barren rocks, the seeds that were sowed did not sprout, and few that did, did not flourish/With no rain, no water, we perish in this drought’. “Drylands, the word, is a metaphor for the condition of the farmers, and the rain is that hope which one sees,” says Krishna, including that the track in Tamil considerably helps since South India hasn’t spoken as a lot concerning the problem of the present farmer protests.

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