1. AR Rahman responded to reports of what appeared to be a stampede at a concert in Chennai.
Fans criticized the organizers for their terrible mismanagement and complained of overcrowding and a stampede-like atmosphere.
On Sunday, Chennai’s Paniyur hosted the ‘Marakuma Nenjam’ event by music legend AR Rahman. Many fans, however, described the concert as a “traumatic” experience because of the congestion and stampede-like conditions, and they criticized the organizers for their terrible mismanagement. Many others expressed their dissatisfaction at being denied entry to the venue despite having valid tickets on social media by posting footage of their ”bizarre” and ”harrowing” experiences. The composer responded to the posts by providing assistance to individuals who were unable to attend the concert. Rahman posted on social media, “Let me be the sacrificial goat this time for all of us to wake up.”
As a result of what they described as a “stampede-like situation,” fans alleged that women were harassed and that children were split up and hurt. Numerous fans complained that tickets were oversold and expressed their displeasure on X, where they demanded an explanation from ACTC Events.
One woman who left the location without going to the event claimed on a local television station that “It’s busy, like a stampede. Absolutely no regulations. A second woman continued, “We had paid $5,000 for a ticket. However, anyone could sit anywhere because it was open seating. They are accountable. There is no parking spot, as they had said, a family allegedly said. We parked our automobiles and traveled two kilometers.
The most strange encounter ever, a fan on X wrote. It was the worst concert I’ve ever been to. VIP zone tickets cost between $25,000 and $50,000, and each zone had security. The tickets were oversold by the organizers. All of the seats were skewed. There was no stage view from the VIP level either. No security guards to guard the locations! There were no entry demarcations! Everyone was coming in from all directions. With no one to control, it was like a stampede! What an outrage.
Many concertgoers who traveled for hours to get to the event location expressed serious concerns about the inadequate parking facilities. Some also demanded a refund for the low volume, which they claimed made the performance difficult to hear from a distance.
Another supporter criticized it as “very poorly organized” and a “waste of time and resources.” She also complained the bad sound quality and how worried she was by the battles. Others also described having panic attacks and anxiety because of the crowding.
Some even tore their tickets in rage and referred to it as “the worst concert ever.”
In an effort to connect, AR Rahman encouraged Sunday’s unable-to-enter attendees to send their tickets and complaints to his staff for a response. After organizers ACTC Events apologized for the “overcrowding,” he responded on X.
The musician also posted a message on Instagram with the caption, “Some people call me G.O.A.T…………let me be the sacrificial goat this time for all of us to wake up.. let chennai’s live art flourish with a world class infrastructure, increase in tourism, efficient crowd management, traffic management, refining audiences to follow rules.. creating a safe and surreal experience for children and women.”promoting a cultural renaissance in Chennai by showcasing our talented local and international performers who deserve recognition!
Notably, Oscar-winning soundtrack director AR Rahman is well-known for his work on movies like Slumdog Millionaire, the Ponniyin Selvan series, Rangeela, Bombay, Taal, and Rockstar. Ayalaan, Maamannan Maidaan, Pippa, Aadujeevitham, Laal Salaam, and Mani Ratnam’s forthcoming film with Kamal Haasan are a few of his upcoming endeavors.
2. Ram Temple Event: Uddhav Thackeray’s “Godhra” Warning. BJP Responds
Using buses and trains, Mr. Thackeray suggested that “many Hindus will be called from all over the country… and, while returning from there, a Godhra incident can be carried out somewhere on the way.”
Uddhav Thackeray, a former chief minister of Maharashtra, has expressed concern about a “conspiracy (yielding) a Godhra-like incident… in the name of the Ram temple” following its dedication at Ayodhya, Uttar Pradesh. Tens of thousands of Hindus from all around the nation are likely to attend the temple’s inauguration in January, months before the Lok Sabha election.
Senior BJP leader Ravi Shankar Prasad has sharply criticized Mr. Thackeray’s claim that the Bharatiya Janata Party, in power at the federal level, is to blame for the Ram temple movement. He reminded his former ally that Balasaheb Thackeray, the late founder of the Shiv Sena, had “blessed” the Ram temple movement and said he would “pray to Lord Ram for wisdom (to the opposition leader)”.
Anurag Thakur, a Union Minister, and Pramod Sawant, the chief minister of Goa, both criticized Mr. Thackeray’s statement.
Uddhav Thackeray spoke of the “possibility that many Hindus will be called from all over the country in buses and trains… and, while returning from there, a Godhra incident can be carried out somewhere on the way” during a gathering in Jalgaon.
“This is possible; an attack is possible. In one colony, they will stone people, burn buses, and commit atrocities. The Shiv Sena UBT leader predicted that the nation will be on fire once more and that “they would bake their political bread on these flames.”
In February 2002, some coaches of the Sabaramati Express were set on fire at Gujarat’s Godhra Railway Station, resulting in at least 58 fatalities and widespread trauma.
Nine years after the killings, a local court found 31 persons guilty (63 were later freed) of inciting riots and protests. The Supreme Court is currently considering appeals against the conviction, which was upheld by the Gujarat High Court.
The temple will be inaugurated months before the 2024 general election, in which the BJP, which has supported the construction of the temple, will seek an unprecedented third term in power. The temple is being built on land that has been claimed by both Hindus and Muslims but was awarded to the former by the Supreme Court in 2019, in a landmark decision.