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'LDF packed cultural bodies with loyalists'

'LDF packed cultural bodies with loyalists'

Author: Our Staff Reporter
Publication: The Hindu
Date: May 21, 2002

The Cultural Affairs Minister, G. Karthikeyan, today said that the previous LDF Government had packed the various cultural institutions with persons who were politically loyal to the front.

Inaugurating the 10-day-long State Professional Drama competitions, organised by the Kerala Sangeetha Nataka Akademi here this evening, Mr. Karthikeyan said that the UDF Government had not appointed persons to various cultural institutions based on their political colour. "Though the previous chairman of the Kerala Kalamandalam, O.N.V. Kurup, has proclaimed that he has no politics, he has been speaking in the voice of a politician. Referring nto the allegation raised by Prof. Kurup regarding the abandoning of clothes on the fibre-glass statuettes of Kathakali characters, he said Prof. Kurup had said that the current Cultural Minister and his company had torn off the clothes of the Kathakali character `Draupadi', more dextereously than even what `Dushasana' did. "We had given him respect as a poet. But as we gave him respect, he downgraded himself to the stature of a mere politician.''

Admitting that there was more unhealthy competition among litterateurs than politicians, he said that it was not proper to blame the politician for all the ills of the world. "But the Government has taken a policy not to interfere in the in-fights among litterateurs. The Akademies are free to plan their own activities. But the Government will insist that the Akademies show result.''

Earlier, Kavalam Narayana Panikker welcomed the gathering.

He said that some of the mistakes apparently committed by previous governing committees of cultural institutions will be corrected by the succeeding committees.

"But, ultimately nobody can define good or bad.

There will definitely be no uniformity of opinion among different individuals on aesthetics.''

The secretary of the Akademi, Jose George, the District Collector, T.O. Suraj, the Mayor of Thrissur Corporation, Jose Kattookkaran, Therambil Ramakrishnan, MLA, and the Akademi member, Sukumari Narendra Menon, were among those who spoke on the occasion.

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