Friday, November 18, 2005

To Err is Human

One of my blog reader forwarded this letter.Rev.Jegath Gaspar pours his heart out in this mail which he sent to the illyaraja fan's club.Illayaraja or rajini, I hope people will have the maturity to seperate a man and his talents.

Dear Friends,

This mail pertains to a news item that appeared in some web based magazine and sites with regard to Thiruvasagam and UK distribution rights, and the resultant confusion among the fans.

At the outset I wish to underline some important things. Ilaiyaraaja Yahoo Groups for me has been a great and enriching experience of life. In many a respect. I can never forget the passionate and proactive support it gave for the TIS project. What brings this group together and gives relevance to it are the common affection and appreciation you all have for the great musical genius of Maestro Ilaiyaraaja and his stupendous contributions to music. This aspect has to be kept in mind in all our discussions and discerning. Without an inch of hesitation I can state that like you I am proud to live at a time when the Maestro lived and his musical genius is undoubtedly unparalleled. However his musical genius does not make him God and we should ensure to give him the freedom and space to be a human being with the inherent human frailties and failures. Seen from this perspective, I am sure our judgments will be better and charitable even if there are problems with regard to individuals and projects, in our case – Thiruvasagam in Symphony. Even such judgments will be contested from protagonist and antagonist points of view. That is fine. But such a clarity will again ensure that none of these would diminish the musical respect we have for this great genius.

Now about this news on Thiruvasagam and UK rights, I really do not know. I heard people in the film industry talking about it. However I must also admit that no overseas distribution arrangement has been agreed so far (except Malaysia and Singapore) between Tamil Maiyam and Maestro. Reasons, I don’t intend to discuss in public. (Tamil Maiyam and Ilaiyaraaja Trust are holding joint copy rights, that too only for Tamil. Tamil Maiyam doesn’t have rights for tracks or interpolation in to other languages). The agreement was signed under duress as IR had total control and possession of the tracks. The release of the album became our foremost concern and we had to agree to sign a contract prepared by his auditor. The original contract which we had signed at the start of the project had to be given up under such a situation. The only oral agreement we had on overseas distribution was to send 8000 CDs to TIS-USA under Dr.Sankar Kumar to settle the loans they had incurred to complete this magnum opus. It is indeed hurting and a crying shame for me personally and for Tamil Maiyam that these decent people in the USA were first asked by us to help, borrow and then dumped with CDs to sell and save themselves.

Right now what I can tell you is, for a project in which we worked for three years, invested almost 1.5 crores – much of it through loans, and moved heaven and hell to make it a success, - what we have received from the distribution company – Welgate so far is only Rs. 5 lakhs. But for the sponsors we would be in a gravely serious crisis. So friends if you really care help us to sell some more CDs. Again Welgate was not our choice. Our choices were either Sony or Sarigama. Both were willing to release the album and the basics of the agreement had all been negotiated when IR insisted on Welgate.

Personally I may feel betrayed, insulted or humiliated and continue to have sleepless nights about the huge remaining debts. That’s OK. After all Thiruvasagam is a great project. We all made it a success. It has touched the souls of so many. Generations will relish this masterpiece.

Above all, I believe we are all mature human beings and we should respect ourselves by transcending. I have transcended. Truth always has the capacity to speak for itself, in time and for ever.

My only pain is that people like Dr. Sankar Kumar and the TIS-USA team who really put their time and credibility in the project went unrecognized.

My prayers are: Our burden of debts should be minimized quickly. You should all remain positive to the core objectives of Ilaiyaraaja Yahoo Groups – his music, and music alone.

Thank you. God bless us all.

Rev. Jegath Gaspar Raj.

This mail is already posted in TiS USA blog .

I thought TiS recovered its money on the day of launch itself.
Sen, that's new info to me. Yes, we should learn to separate a man and his talents. Same with what you said about Kamal in your previous post.
I saw it. thanxs for the link.

yeah jo...
Friends ,

As sen ,has xpressed clearly we have to be very clear in separating his talents ,his personal life ,his professional life even !!

We don't have the complete details of what exactly happened ( it may be worse even ) ,but we definetely need to re-think when such public -funded projects come in future .The disadvantage is that in future nobody wil ever support such a project ..:(

There was an intresting debate on the dress code in NDTV .It was very nice ,until they asked a question 'WHat would you consider as Provocative (in dress) ?' - everybody stumbled for that answer ..
Can you explain whats the incident or a pointer to the news item that appeared?
Sorry, I am not able to make anything out of this. Blame it on my ignorance.
It was an article in some tamil magazine which said IR sold the rights of the UK distribution to his relative when tamil maiyam the organiztion that did the whole things with loans and fan's contribution was deprived of it.
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