Carnatic vocalist T.M. Krishna has called out celebrities, especially film personalities, for their ‘tone-deaf’ response amidst the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. The Chennai-based singer has asked them to stay quiet if they ‘cannot be honest about what is staring at us everyday.’ In a series of tweets, he said, irrespective of political leanings, people in privileged positions must either call a spade a spade or ‘shut up.’ “Can these filmy types please shut up and stay in their farm houses/fancy apartments,” Krishna said.
The 44-year-old Magsaysay award winner said these celebrities had nothing to say about thousands of migrant workers rendered jobless, homeless, and hungry by the nationwide lockdown since March 25. “Not a word on the number of workers stuck in various parts of the country struggling for food and shelter. Not a word on the mess the government of India has created and the complete lack of any care. Not a word on the risks they are facing,” he wrote.
Krishna also alleged that celebrities kept mum about the government’s delayed measures to fight the deadly virus. “Not a word on the fact the this government woke up late and then shut down the country overnight, letting people suffer and struggle to make sense of their lives while people clapped, banged on plates and later lit diyas.” He also criticised the fraternity for promoting physical distancing, ‘a fancy middle-class idea’ that most of India simply cannot practice as many people lived in one small room. “Not a word on the abysmal testing levels,” Krishna said.
“Irrespective of your political leanings, if you just cannot be honest about what is staring at us everyday. Just shut up,” he said. Krishna’s remarks come one day after Bollywood superstar Salman Khan expressed anguish and disappointment at people flouting COVID-19 lockdown rules and throwing stones at health workers as the country grappled with the pandemic.
The ‘Bharat’ star, who is currently at his Panvel farmhouse, on Wednesday, urged everyone to abide by the guidelines laid down by the government to contain the spread of the deadly virus and praise the efforts by all those working on the frontlines. Like other cinema stars, Salman too has extended support to the COVID-19 relief efforts by pledging to financially support 25,000 daily wage workers who have been badly hit by the lockdown.