Three dancers support Mansiya and withdraw from Koodalmanikyam dance festival – The New Indian Express
Express press service
KOCHI: Authorities at the Irinjalakuda Koodalmanikyam temple, under attack for banning a dancer from performing at its mega event because he was not Hindu, received a jolt on Friday with three other performers stepping down in a sign of protest.
Dancers Anju Aravind, Karthik Manikandan and Devika Sajeevan have withdrawn from the National Dance and Music Festival, which will be held from April 15-25, in solidarity with Bharatanatyam performer VP Mansiya.
Anju was scheduled to perform from 6-7.15pm on April 21, Karthik who is from Bengaluru at 6.45pm on April 17 and 2011 Susheel Keerthi Award winner Devika at 4pm on April 24. artists who have faced unfortunate incidents, I have chosen to refrain from performing at the Koodalmanikyam dance festival,” said Devika.
“The temple removed some artists from the list of performers after selecting them. What value do artists have in such a system? asked Karthik. Anju wrote on Facebook, “As an artist, I believe that art is above caste and religion. I don’t want to give the assurance that I am Hindu to perform in a hall.
Thanking the artists, activists and people who shared his anguish, Mansiya, 27, said his devotion to dance and the arts was his way of worship and prayer.
Dancers free to withdraw from the event: Devaswom
“When my original invitation to the festival was withdrawn, I only questioned the reason given and the disgraceful manner in which the decision was communicated,” Mansiya said. “I want to reiterate that art forms should not be allowed to be monopolized by religions. Art and dance have no religion,” she said.
She said belief in God and belief in religions are different things for her. “I don’t believe in any religion, but I do believe in a universal power that is the embodiment of beauty and goodness. This power can be called by any name,” she said.
Responding to the development, Koodalmanikyam Devaswom Chairman U Pradeep Menon said the temple administration had no right to change centuries-old practices. “Dancers are free to withdraw from the festival if they wish. However, we have limits to changing practices,” he said.