BREAKING NEWS — A consortium of record companies, event producers, harmonium makers, and chai brewers today announced the establishment of a nonprofit organization that will be responsible for accrediting and regulating kirtan artists from this point forward.
The announcement comes amid growing concern that the practice of call-and-response chanting can induce a rare but rapidly increasing brain disorder called kirtananandanitis, named after the wallah-scientist who discovered it three years ago. (Read our story on the discovery.) The condition, commonly known as “bhav brain,” was the subject of an alert by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control last April after cases were discovered in every town and village. Previously, kirtananandanitis was rarely seen outside of chant festivals, Krishna temples, and kirtan retreats, though there have been clusters of cases in Southern California, Burlington, Vt., and parts of Brooklyn. Officials were alarmed by what they saw as a rapid increase in random cases of bhav brain as the practice of kirtan has spread to living rooms across the country, where people gather in community to chant for free.
A key condition of Bhakti Alliance certification will include how to recognize and address kirtananandanitis. Kirtan wallahs will need to show proof that they have mastered the induction of bhav brain as a condition of accreditation.
The Bhakti Alliance will collect dues and certification fees to support its administrative personnel and fund a marketing campaign to promote the importance of a kirtan wallah being “BA-certified,” but will not provide guidelines for best practices, offer instruction, or enforce its principles.
“Basically, we just want your money,” said Bhakti Alliance CEO Ima Poser.
If you like this, you might also like “10 Signs You Might Be a Kirtan Addict”
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