Tuesday, 4 March 2014

Gossip, allegations and smoke in Chidambaram

There has been some fiery buzz, or perhaps gossip that has been doing the Chidambaram town rounds and some colorful media reporting on the Natyanjali.

That the organizers misuse names and that they make money in the name of the festival.

So on the final evening of the Festival, the Natyanjali Trust secretary Sambandam had to clear the air on stage. That the Trust is independent and does not borrow or lean on the temple or use the name 'Nataraja'. That in the past and now men of eminence lead the festival and that ir runs on donations and wellwishers.

The temple and the community around it generate loads of local news, some hugely biased or fed by extreme elements.

On one side the focus is on the Podu Dikshitars and their attitude. On another is a small pro-Thamizh group that insists on use of the language in all religious events and is keen to have a bigger say.

One Natyanjali evening, on stage when a Dikshitar is invited to address the audience, a young priest went off at a tangent taking potshots at the pro-Thamizh elements and raising issues based on local media reports. A few people in the crowd raised their voices and this unpleasant turn, quite uncalled for was smoothened out.

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