During the period 2011-2013, KRISHNA brought his passion and artistry to war-ravaged northern Sri Lanka, the first Karnatik musician to tour that region in three decades, and launched two festivals to promote “culture retrieval and revival” in that country. More recently, he conducted, with a prominent environmentalist, a free festival of “art healing” on the beach of Besant Nagar in Chennai that brought together a divided community of dalits, fisherfolk, and upper-class residents, to commune in performances that richly combined musical and dance forms formerly exclusive to the upper class and the dalits.

In electing THODUR MADABUSI KRISHNA to receive the 2016 Ramon Magsaysay Award for Emergent Leadership, the board of trustees recognizes his forceful commitment as artist and advocate to art’s power to heal India’s deep social divisions, breaking barriers of caste and class to unleash what music has to offer not just for some but for all.