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Vice-President inaugurates online Margazhi festival

India’s Vice-President, Venkaiah Naidu, on Dec.15 inaugurated ‘Yours Truly Margazhi’, a festival launched by The Federation of City Sabhas jointly with Kalakendra.com. The festival is one of a kind to be launched on the digital platform considering the pandemic.

Inaugurating the festival, the Vice-President said, “The month December is synonymous with Chennai - the Carnatic music capital of India, as many descend to the city from around the world. That’s why in 2017, Chennai was recognised by UNESCO as the Creative Cities Network for music.”

He added that technology would be co-existing with us and artistes must tap the potential of the virtual medium to promote fine arts. The Vice-President also recalled how the sabhas had evolved from the Sangam period when poets gathered for discussions and said, “Every effort should be made to preserve, propagate and promote our cultural treasure - music, dance and drama. Fine arts is a potential source of soft power to India to expand our global outreach. With soft power, we can spread the ideals of non-violence (ahimsa), peace (shanti) and co-existence around the world in line with ‘vasudhaiva kutumbakam’.

Speaking on including fine arts in the school curriculum, the Vice-President said, “Classical arts was part of our education in ancient times. We must revive this tradition and make music and dance a part of school curriculum again. The proposed new education policy is also enabling provisions in this regard. Classical art improves attention, reduces tension, inculcates discipline, creates confidence, increases patience and teaches the importance of perseverance.”

Commending the Federation and Kalakendra for planning this festival, the Vice-President called upon the youth of the nation to draw inspiration for the festival and preserve our culture, “With 500 programmes, this (festival) will be a great inspiration for everyone. Will be missing some great musicians this year, like T.M.Krishnan and S.P.Balasubramanian. But we must all come together to nurture our culture, further our country's stature and secure our children's future.”

K. Harishankar, Secretary of the Federation, said the decision to partner with Kalakendra was made in July when the Federation was also formed, “Adversity brings out the best in human beings and this pandemic has made the entire classical arts world reinvent itself and take to online means to reach the audience world over. This is our own atma nirbharta (self reliance) in a small way. 500 artistes are participating in 150 programmes in this festival. Thanks to rasikas we have been able to provide monetary support to not only the artist but the entire ecosystem (of fine arts) in this time of adversity. We dedicate this festival to all the artists and technicians who have left us this year, most prominently T.N.Krishnan, P.S.Narayanaswamy and S.P.Balasubramanian.”

Appreciating Nalli Kuppusamy Chetti, Harishankar said, “He has over 3 decades been the single largest patron of cultural organisations in Chennai and all over India.”

Thanking the Vice-President for inaugurating the function, Nalli Kuppusamy Chetti said, “Chennai is dotted with sabhas, and their growth in the number of sabhas is a sign of the increase in the connoisseurs of fine arts.”

R.Sundar, Treasurer, The Federation of City Sabhas, and the Secretary of Hamsadhwani, presented the vote of thanks. Also present at the occasion were S.Ravichandra, Brahma Gana Sabha, M Krishnamurthy, secretary, Parthasarathy Swami Sabha, and K.S.Sudhakar, Founder of Kalakendra.com.

The participating sabhas in this joint endeavour are Bharat Kalachar, Brahma Gana Sabha, Hamsadhwani, Kartik Fine Arts, Mylapore Fine Arts Club, NadaSudha, Narada Gana Sabha, Sri Krishna Gana Sabha, Sri Rama Bhaktha Jana Samaj, Sri Parthasarathy Swami Sabha, Sri Thyaga Brahma Gana Sabha and The Indian Fine Arts Society.

For details on the schedule and to subscribe, log into https://kalakendra.com/yours-truly-margazhi/, or check out their YouTube channel.

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