‘Marakkuma Nenjam’, the recently held concert of music composer AR Rahman in Chennai, turned into a nightmare for thousands of fans due to mismanagement, and many have been voicing out their grievances, including women who were allegedly sexually harassed in the midst of the poorly managed crowd. Social media since the day of the incident has been filled with grievances from distraught fans who have not been happy with the response they received from the event’s team as well as the musician.
Now, many celebrities including actor Karthi, composer Yuvan Shankar Raja, singer Shweta Mohan, and actor-politician Khushbu Sundar have criticised the event management, voiced their support for Rahman, and shown solidarity with the fans who suffered harrowing experiences at the concert.
Music composer Yuvan, in a statement posted on X, expressed his disappointment with the event producers and organisers. “As performers, we place our trust in these producers to ensure that everything runs smoothly and our fans, are well taken care of while we’re on stage. It is truly disheartening to witness such a situation unfold and it even urges artists, including myself to take on an active role in the planning & safety measures.”
“As a fellow musician, I empathize with the situation and stand by A R Rahman, considering the unfortunate events, especially when the concert was intended to give the fans a memorable night, for all the right reasons,” he added.
The Marakkuma Nenjam concert took place on Sunday, September 10, at the Adityaram Palace grounds on East Coast Road (ECR) in Chennai. Unfortunately, the venue was not suited to hold the 45,000 people who made it to the event, resulting in long queues, traffic snarls, and mismanagement of ticket holders who couldn’t make it to their designated areas, causing the possibility of a stampede-like situation. Post the event, many people shared on X that they felt claustrophobic in the crowd. Some had suffered panic attacks as well. Videos posted on X showed elderly attendees sitting on the floor on the sidelines due to exhaustion. The reports of sexual harassment and molestation from women who were in the crowd have sent shockwaves across social media.
Following the incident, the Tambaram City Police launched an enquiry into reports of overcrowding and chaotic traffic on the ECR. On Tuesday, Deepa Sathyan, Deputy Commissioner of Police, (Law and Order), Pallikaranai, under whose jurisdiction the venue of the concert falls, was transferred and placed in the ‘compulsory wait’ category.
Here are the tweets from Karthi, Khushbu, and Shweta Mohan: