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#MeToo: Madras Music Academy Drops Seven Musicians Following Sexual Harassment Allegations

The decision was taken after “independently talking to unbiased members in the music world."

On Thursday, Madras Music Academy dropped seven musicians from the list of performers at its annual music event, Margazhi, scheduled for December this year. These musicians have been accused of sexual harassment during India’s raging #MeToo campaign.

The musicians who have been dropped are N Ravikiran, OS Thyagarajan, Mannargudi A Easwaran, Srimushnam V Raja Rao, Nagai Sriram, R Ramesh and Thiruvarur Vaidyanathan, reported Scroll.

N Murali, the President of the Academy, told Scroll, “We want to extend our sensitivity and sympathy to the survivors who have been unable to raise their voice or articulate the trauma that they have gone through all these years.”

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He added, “We want to show our solidarity to them. We also felt we must take this stand to uphold the credibility of our institution. We cannot turn a blind eye to the #MeToo storm.”

Murali asserted that the decision was taken after “independently talking to unbiased members in the music world.”

“These are allegations and we are not holding anyone guilty,” Murali said. “But we have taken cognisance of some of the allegations where the alleged abuse and harassment has been described in detail. We have a right to decide whether a musician features or not in the festival. We have exercised that right.”

Some of the musicians have denied the allegations levelled against them.

Vocalist OS Thyagarajan had told The News Minute, “This is a false allegation. I’m a very orthodox man. I don’t indulge in such acts.”

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Another renowned musician Ravikiran had said in a Facebook post, “I have never sexually harassed anyone and am completely against such acts.”

Taking cue from India’s #MeToo campaign, more than 200 Carnatic musicians had signed a statement condemning sexual harassment and encouraging more women to speak up against their harassers.

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