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How Isaignani Illayarajah Seized Control of the Thiruvasakham Symphony Project to Fatten his Own Purse.


Rajasingham Jayadevan

The darker side of the composer Isai Gnani Illaiyarajah has never been reported in the media. Having experienced his ruthless double-cross, I write this piece with the view to create greater awareness of the deception practiced by the much boasted Tamil music composer from Tamil Nadu.

Ilaiyaraja at Rogers Centre, Toronto, February, 16, 2013

Ilaiyaraja at Rogers Centre, Toronto, February, 16, 2013

‘Isai Gnani Illarajah is coming to London for an unforgettable show joined by a troupe of amazing singers and musicians including Chinmayi, Yuvan Shankar Raja, SP Balasubramaniam, Karthik and many more, this will be a truly magical experience for Tamil music lovers in the United Kingdom’ – states Thamarai.com.

A campaign of relentless TV publicity is undertaken in all major Tamil TV stations in the UK. The concert will be held on Saturday, 24 August 2013 at the London O2 Arena in Greenwich. The prices of the tickets to see the questionable Isai Gnani’s thamasha is set at VVIP £250, VIP £150, General admissions £100 and £50.

The organisers of the event are the successful Lyca Mobile. The readers are advised that Lyca Mobile is an innocent party to the revelation about the money craving Illayajah herein and the writing has no bearing on them. However my sincere effort to discuss the matter with Lyca Mobile with the wider interest in mind was not successful after repeatedly trying to speak to someone in their office for over 24 hours. They seems to be in a hiding mood for some reasons.

Isai Gnani means scholar in music. Unfortunately whatever the scholarly gains, the composer is an embodiment of greed and deception and his over-zealous gluttony is such that he will try devious means to screw anyone for money in the shadow of his esteemed title and composing talents. Those who get bitten only will know the dark side of Illayarajah and they will maintain silence in fear of earning the bad name for speaking against him. This scandal I experienced needs to be exposed to prevent any more innocent people falling easy prey for his deceptions any more. His unscrupulous money craze is such that, he will execute it without any fear with full vigour and venom and without any remorse at all.

Though I did not have any personal dealings with Ilaiyarajah, my involvement in the production of the Thiruvasagam in Symphony Orchestra few years ago gave me the bitter taste of this crave. Thiru Vasagam is one of the volume of Tamil hymns composed by the ninth century Shaivite poet Manikkavasagar. Ilayarajah’s task was to play the Thiruvasagam in a melodic symphony orchestra.

A special committee was formed in London with number of respectable Tamils joining to help the project. Regular meetings were held and fund was raised. In view of the uniqueness of the project, funds started to flow in.

Various Tamil/Hindu charities contributed. Over £100,000 was raised with the prospect of raising more. The Charity I am associated with contributed £15,000 and further the voluntary contributions from day collections was about £1,000. To this date Ilaiyarajah has not thanked or acknowledged for the funds and have not given an account of how he used the funds.

It is said ‘Thiruvasagathitku Urugathar Oru Vasagathukkum Urugar’ meaning ‘Those who do not mellow down to Thiruvasagam will not mellow down for any other Vasagams’. This was the feeling that drove the London organizers to spearhead a campaign for the success of the Thiruvasagam in Symphony.

In our several meetings, we were briefed about the progress made on the production of the symphony. In that, we were told Hungarian Orchestra will be engaged for the project. In one of the meetings, we were even told that Ilaiyarajah is fully geared and he is in a psychic or chromatic stage to create the symphony and he is unreachable.

The London committee even went to the extent of finding safeguards to prevent the pirates getting access to the Thiruvasagam Symphony before its release. They planned for a grand release with an highly geared razzmatazz to internationalize the production.

This is when we came to know the shocking news that Isai Gnani forcing his way to take control of the entire administration of the Thiruvasagam Symphony in Tamil Nadu on his own. There was no fear to bulldoze his way through, thus causing severe heartaches to the teams in Tamil Nadu and London. With the threat, intimidation and blackmail, the so called Isai Gnani carried out a master coup of deception to fatten his own purse.

As far as the organizers were concerned, their efforts came to naught with Ilaiyaraja’s takeover of the project. Ilaiyarajah then decided to market the Thiruvagam in symphony to some private dealer/s to fill his own coffers.

When publicity was generated for Ilayaraja’s ‘Rajathi Raja’ show in London, I was contacted by some concerned Tamils to organise a campaign against the composer which I did not accept despite being a victim of Ilayarajah’s conduct. But advised them that engaging a performing artists will fall into the ‘Withholding Tax Scheme’ of Her Majesty’s Revenue & Customs and Iilayarajah’s earnings from entertainment show in London is taxable at 20% and must be paid across to the Revenue by the organisers.

I was told by an independent publicity company involved in the project that Iilayarajah has been paid a deposit for him to participate in the entertainment in London. Feeling against Ilayarajah’s programme is simmering and if it become an anti-campaign before the event, it will not the money spinner who will suffer as he has already secured some funds from the organisers without any trouble.

I invite Isai Gnani Ilayarajah to meet the Thiruvasagam Symphony organisers and funders in London. He has lot to answer.