Wednesday, 12 September 2012

Prime Minister’s Speech at Kerala Kalamandalam

Kochi:Following is the text of the Prime Minister, Dr. Manmohan Singh’s speech at Kerala Kalamandalam in Thrissur today: 
“I am very happy to be with you all today.  I compliment Kerala Kalamandalam and all those associated with the institution for engaging in the noble work of preserving and promoting the extraordinary rich culture of this beautiful State. 
The composite and diverse culture of Kerala has been enhanced by the synthesis of a large variety of influences over centuries. From ancient times this blessed land has warmly welcomed travelers and migrants, who have all contributed to the development of its magnificent cultural mosaic.  The tradition of religious tolerance and respect for diverse philosophies has greatly aided this process.  It is not thus a coincidence that the earliest mosque, church and synagogue in India were all established in this blessed land of Kerala. 
Kerala rightly boasts of an amazing variety of performing arts.  Kutiyattam, the unique Sanskrit theatre and Mudiyettu, the ritual dance drama both find a place in the UNESCO representative list of the intangible cultural heritage of humanity.  
Other classical forms like Kathakali and Mohiniyattam have also been acclaimed across the world.  The State is home to an array of folk and tribal art forms.  It has developed its own native music system, the Sopanam style of music and has a variety of musical ensembles.  
Kerala Kalamandalam was founded by the great poet Vallathol Narayana Menon in 1930 and has a special place in the cultural map not only of Kerala but also of the country as a whole.  I understand this organization is the first public institution to impart training and organize performances in the traditional performing arts of Kerala, especially KathakaliMohiniyattomKutiyattom and Thullaal. From its humble beginnings, it has today established itself as a symbol of Indian cultural renaissance and has acclaimed global fame. 
I congratulate all those who have been associated with the inception and growth of this great institution. I have been told that theKalamandalam provides training to over 500 students in over fourteen art disciplines. The institution embodies the true Indian cultural essence and spirit by following the Gurukul system of teaching the performing arts. 
I am very happy that this institution has tie-ups and collaborations with major universities and colleges abroad and shares many cultural exchange programmes with these universities.  All these will go a long way in spreading the richness of Indian culture far and wide. As our ambassadors, our artists can very vividly show-case the different strands and hues of our great composite cultural fabric. 
The proposed museum of South Indian performing arts is expected to lead to a greater and renewed interest in the art and culture of this region. The South Indian canvas is endowed with a wide variety of traditional performing arts, including ritual, folk and classical. Some art forms have vanished unfortunately; while some others need to be protected and supported. 
The Museum once established will preserve and promote the rich and varied performing arts of the four States of South India. Further it would reinforce India’s pluralism and harmonised co-existence of diverse cultures and sub-cultures.  
I am given to understand that this museum would have a state-of-the-art digital library and archiving facilities, besides studios, performance auditoria and research facilities. 
Let me end by saluting the memory of the great men and women like Vallathol, Tagore and others who have immortalized our glorious heritage of art, dance, drama, music and literature. I once more compliment the Kalamandalam authorities for undertaking the remarkable venture of building a museum of South Indian performing arts.  I wish Kerala Kalamandalam and all those associated with this unique institution the very best for the future. Thank you, Jai Hind.”

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