Following is the text
of the Prime Minister, Dr. Manmohan Singh’s speech at Kerala
Kalamandalam in Thrissur today:
“I am very happy to be with you all today. I compliment Kerala
Kalamandalam and all those associated with the institution for engaging
in the noble work of preserving and promoting the extraordinary rich
culture of this beautiful State.
The composite and diverse culture of Kerala has been enhanced by the
synthesis of a large variety of influences over centuries. From ancient
times this blessed land has warmly welcomed travelers and migrants, who
have all contributed to the development of its magnificent cultural
mosaic. The tradition of religious tolerance and respect for diverse
philosophies has greatly aided this process. It is not thus a
coincidence that the earliest mosque, church and synagogue in India were
all established in this blessed land of Kerala.
Kerala rightly boasts of an amazing variety of performing arts.
Kutiyattam, the unique Sanskrit theatre and Mudiyettu, the ritual dance
drama both find a place in the UNESCO representative list of the
intangible cultural heritage of humanity.
Other classical forms like Kathakali and Mohiniyattam have also been
acclaimed across the world. The State is home to an array of folk and
tribal art forms. It has developed its own native music system, the
Sopanam style of music and has a variety of musical ensembles.
Kerala Kalamandalam was founded by the great poet Vallathol Narayana
Menon in 1930 and has a special place in the cultural map not only of
Kerala but also of the country as a whole. I understand this
organization is the first public institution to impart training and
organize performances in the traditional performing arts of Kerala,
especially Kathakali, Mohiniyattom, Kutiyattom and Thullaal. From its
humble beginnings, it has today established itself as a symbol of Indian
cultural renaissance and has acclaimed global fame.
I congratulate all those who have been associated with the inception and
growth of this great institution. I have been told that the Kalamandalam
provides training to over 500 students in over fourteen art disciplines.
The institution embodies the true Indian cultural essence and spirit by
following the Gurukul system of teaching the performing arts.
I am very happy that this institution has tie-ups and collaborations
with major universities and colleges abroad and shares many cultural
exchange programmes with these universities. All these will go a long
way in spreading the richness of Indian culture far and wide. As our
ambassadors, our artists can very vividly show-case the different
strands and hues of our great composite cultural fabric.
The proposed museum of South Indian performing arts is expected to lead
to a greater and renewed interest in the art and culture of this region.
The South Indian canvas is endowed with a wide variety of traditional
performing arts, including ritual, folk and classical. Some art forms
have vanished unfortunately; while some others need to be protected and
The Museum once established will preserve and promote the rich and
varied performing arts of the four States of South India. Further it
would reinforce India’s pluralism and harmonised co-existence of diverse
cultures and sub-cultures.
I am given to understand that this museum would have a state-of-the-art
digital library and archiving facilities, besides studios, performance
auditoria and research facilities.
Let me end by saluting the memory of the great men and women like
Vallathol, Tagore and others who have immortalized our glorious heritage
of art, dance, drama, music and literature. I once more compliment the
Kalamandalam authorities for undertaking the remarkable venture of
building a museum of South Indian performing arts. I wish Kerala
Kalamandalam and all those associated with this unique institution the
very best for the future. Thank you, Jai Hind.”