T. M Krishna and Suraj Yengde

Caste & Culture

6 pm

10 October, 2020 - 10 October, 2020

Missed the event?

Click here to read a short blog post about it.
Click here to watch a recording of it on our YouTube Channel.


MAP is pleased to launch its theme of Inclusion & Diversity with a conversation between vocalist, writer and activist T. M. Krishna and leading scholar and author, Suraj Yengde. The session will explore the patterns of privilege and exclusion that shape access to cultural artforms and pursuits, raising questions of the ethical and representational issues implicit in art that reflects a hierarchical society. It will also look at the shifting relationships between classical, folk and popular arts, and the ability of the cultural space to function as a site of activism and dialogue.

10 October | 6 pm

Click here to register for the event. 




Thodur Madabusi Krishna or T. M Krishna as he is more popularly known, is an internationally acclaimed Carnatic musician, public intellectual and author of A Southern Music – The Karnatik Story, Reshaping Art and co-author of Voices Within: Carnatic Music – Passing on an Inheritance. His latest book, Sebastian and Sons, traces the history of the mridangam-maker and the mridangam in the last century.

Krishna has started and is involved in many organisations whose work is spread across the whole spectrum of music and culture. He is the driving force behind the Chennai Kalai Theru Vizha (formerly Urur Olcott Kuppam Vizha) and the Svanubhava initiative. He has been part of inspiring collaborations, such as the Chennai Poromboke Paadal with environmentalist Nityanand Jayaraman, performances with the Jogappas (transgender musicians) and co-conceptualising and performing Karnatic Kattaikuttu, an unusual aesthetic conversation between art forms and communities that belong to two ends of the social spectrum. In 2016, Krishna received the prestigious Ramon Magsaysay Award in recognition of ‘his forceful commitment as artist and advocate to art’s power to heal India’s deep social divisions’; while in 2017, he received both the Indira Gandhi Award for National Integration in recognition of his services in promoting and preserving national integration in the country; as well as the Professor V Aravindakshan Memorial Award for connecting Carnatic music with the common man.




Dr Suraj Yengde is one of India’s leading public intellectuals and a noted scholar of caste. He is the author of the bestseller Caste Matters and co-editor of the award-winning anthology The Radical in Ambedkar. An international human rights lawyer by qualification from India and the UK, he is currently a senior fellow at the Harvard Kennedy School and an inaugural postdoctoral fellow at the Initiative for Institutional Anti-racism and Accountability (IARA) at Harvard University.

Dr Yengde is a syndicated columnist at The Hindustan Times, The Huffington Post, The Print, The Citizen, Globe & Post, The Mexican Times and The Conversation, among others. His writings have appeared in Al Jazeera, BBC, The Hindu, The Caravan, LiveMint, The Sunday World, The Wire.in, Mail & Guardian Africa, Saturday Star and Open Democracy. He has delivered over 300 lectures, keynotes at international academic conferences and seminars across the world on the issues of casteism, racism, institutionalised discrimination, diversity and inclusion. He has also been nominated for India’s highest literary award, Sahitya Akademi, and is a recipient of the Dr Ambedkar Social Justice Award (Canada, 2019) and the Rohit Vemula Memorial Scholar Award (2018).