Monday, 11 March 2013

Ms Indira Gandhi and the Natyanjali . .

Did former Prime Minister Indira Gandhi have a link with the Natyanjali festival In Chidambaram?
Archaeologist and arts commentator R Nagaswamy says there was a small connection.

When scholar Delhi-based scholar and arts activist Dr Kapila Vatsyanan, a prime mover of the Natyanjali idea firmed it up she shared the details with Indira Gandhi who is said to have offered her wishes for the project.

Nagaswamy made this public at a felicitation event held between concerts tonight. He was also part of the team that staged the first series of dances in the temple. He spoke of that time when a few lights and mikes and speakers got the recitals going and they passed the hat to collect some money.

But when the time came for the second edition of the Natyanjali the team was not so sure and when bureaucrat C K Gariyali, then the local collector heard of the situation she  played a major role and stayed on for many years.

Also, current Tamil Nadu chief minister J Jayalalithaa had arranged for funds for the fest when the fest bank account had gone dry.

Nagaswamy also recalled a time when the organizers had to run off with mikes and light-stands when the skies opened but the recitals continued in the 1000-pillared hall, which now remains 'protected' ( those were days when the recitals were held in the inner yard, in the open air).

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