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Valli, they are more marginalised

I was surprised to hear the comment of noted danseuse Alarmel Valli that arts are now being marginalised in society.  She expressed this while receiving the title of Natya Kala Sikhamani at the 81st conference and festival of the Indian Fine Arts Society.

The Chennai air is full of music in the month of December. Hundreds of sabhas and cultural organisations vie with one another to organise festivals and artistes of varied accomplishments are conferred titles and showered accolades. Perhaps this is only comparable to the propensity of Tamils to shower such titles on film artistes of every description. Even TN universities vie with one another in conferring doctorates and other titles on these. Perhaps struck by the lead provided by the rival Times of India, The Hindu has massively stepped up its coverage of the music season along with films and film personalities.

I have expressed concern and disappointment over lack of such attention to other great nation builders from admi-

nistration, professions, business, academy, media… I cite just three such great contributors:

  • A Ramakrishna, who headed L&T ECC with such distinction! There were not many large projects including airports, roads and bridges, power and steel plants, ports and airports, IT buildings, sports stadia and other infrastructure projects, with which L&T and AR were not associated.
  • The giant administrator G Ramachandran, who walked so facilely with giants in the political field like Rajaji, Kamaraj, Bakthavatsalam, Annadurai, Indira Gandhi, Morarji Desai, Charan Singh… and contributed to the sound evolution of fiscal policy for close to four decades
  • C R Subramanian, who steered Bharat Electronics with such involvement and distinction.

I hope, Valli would agree that the services these stalwarts and change agents have not received even a fraction of attention. Just look at the liberal space given to maverick musician T M Krishna on successive days by The Hindu.

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