Disregarding the Heritage, CPM move to commercialise famous Kalpathy Carnatic Festival

published on September 28, 2008





Move to change venue triggers row






Courtesy: Express News Service –


http://www.expressbuzz.com/








PALAKKAD:  Amidst opposition from all quarters of the society there is a concerted bid by cultural organisations close to the CPM to shift the venue of the Kalpathy Carnatic music festival from its present venue of Kalpathy to the Municipal Town Hall in the town this year.


Most of the Carnatic music lovers, whom Express contacted, were of the opinion that cultural organisations close to the CPM were out to utilise the brand name of Kalpathy for crass commercialisation disregarding the heritage value of the village and its people.

Ironically the moves to change the venue and take up the conduct of the music festival was being initiated after the demise of five-time Palakkad MLA and Kalpathy resident C M Sundaram, which need to be mentioned here. Even politically, Kalpathy has not been a vote bank of the CPM which is one of the reasons for this sudden decision, said most of the respondents.

Of the reasons trotted out for changing the venue are the lack of facilities in Kalpathy and it wass being conducted with the funds allotted by the government through the Tourism Department, said Jaypala Menon, who had been associated with Swaralaya and other organisations.

‘’we have spoken to Tourism Minister Kodiyeri Balakrishnan and Culture Minister M A Baby and they were in favour of shifting the venue of the conduct of the festival so that it reached out to a larger audience. There were no facilities for artists to rest or stay in Kalpathy.” Another bizarre argument is as follows. ‘’Why can’t the Kalpathy music festival be held in December, January, February, March or April,’’ asked Swaralaya joint secretary Radhakrishnan Nair who is also the Puruogamana Kala Sahitya Sangham district president. The fact that the week-long Kalpathy music festival is held as a prelude to the Kalpathy Car Festival in November is quietly glossed over.

The advocates who demand the shifting of the venue argue that Carnatic music is not the only festival of importance. There is Hindustani music, Kathakali music, Raveendra music and the Mappila Pattu. ‘’The moves to shift the venue of the Kalpathy music festival was politically motivated.

We will never allow it. It is being held as part of the Kalpathy Car Festival and the heritage village of Kalpathy is the appropriate venue. If C M Sundaram was alive he would not have allowed such a thing to happen,’’ said District Congress Committee president A V Gopinath.

He added that if there were no facilities for artistes and the public in Kalpathy the government should have initiate steps to provide them instead of playing politics.


‘’It was a move by some people to market the brand name of Kalpathy and it will never be allowed,’’ said BJP state committee member N S N Sivarajan.


While there were many complaints by artistes against the organisers of other cultural festivals in Palakkad regarding remuneration and the like, senior artistes from the late Chembai Vaidyanatha Bhagavathar and Kunnukudi Vaidyanathan, to T N Seshagopalan or Padma Subramaniam who had performed in Kalpathy have never complained about the facilities here and only considered it their privilege and a blessing to perform here, said Subramaniam, a resident of Kalpathy.

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