On the "Music Season" supplementary section of The Hindu today, three Pakkavadhya Professionals have shard their views about the exploitation by the Sabhas, Audience and the Society in general.
They seem to have disappointed and apprehended by the reaction of all these people towards them. They are not paid in par with what is being paid to the Lead / main vocalists or Instrumentalists. They do not get the media attention that they think they deserve. And for people who have taken percussion as a profession, it is difficult for them to get a bride.
While I understand their concern from a society stand-point, I dont really think a few points are valid. Mirudhangam and Ganjira certainly adds value to the song. They are well appreciated. If "due credits" is a word that means the correct mention was given, then i think the pakka-vadhyams are given due-credits.
And due-credits is all they deserve. I agree their names should be mentioned in the invitations and music-concert announcement. But they cant drag attention for more than what they deserve. Umayalpuram Sivaraman is a great Mirudhanga Vidhvan. But he knows his place when a singer whose age is even lesser than his experience is performing.
"I would change my name if someone makes an impact on stage without pakkavadhyam" says one percussionist. Dude, this is an age where already a Thambura is sitting inside a electronic box. I know a few friends of mine who have mirudhangam and tabela electronically generated. They have loops. Just because the Vocals sit along with all he pakkavadhyams, do not put them on the same levels.
Im sure the article on Hindu will atract some oppositions.
This has become a trend in almost every field, where everyone feels themselves essential. If you feel the same way, "Time for a reality check" guys.
An irrelevant quote - "All men are equal. But some men are more equal than others". :)