Letters to the editor

Claims about non-veg food, damaged floors are false: Kalakshetra chairman responds to Leela Samson

The artist had criticised the cultural institute’s management for allowing its premises to be misused for commercial purposes.

Last week, dancer and former Kalakshetra Foundation director Leela Samson had criticised the management of the arts and culture academy in Chennai for allowing the institute’s campus to be misused. In a Facebook post that seems to have since been deleted, the artist said that the institute’s classrooms were being used for the “sales of vegetables, clothes, food – including non-veg food items being sold under the sacred banyan tree, the very heart of the institute.”

The controversy began after a recent event to promote sustainable living at the institute’s premises. Reports said a flash mob had been held at the event.

Samson also wrote that the wooding flooring at the institute was being damaged because of commercial structures built in the classroom. Scroll.in had reported on the Facebook post and had also spoken to Samson.

N Gopalaswami, the Chairman of the Kalakshetra Foundation, responds to the allegations and speaks about the event at the centre of the controversy.

In keeping with our general approach to renting our premises to culturally inclined institutions or for genuine social causes, the Kalakshetra premises were rented to Reciprocity Foundation, headed by the architect Sheela Sriprakash, for a festival on the themes of organic food, Yoga and Pranayam, water and waste management, urban farming, conservation and renewable energy. The administration had no reason to suspect any likely inappropriate use in view of the fact that the same institution was given the premises on rent last year too and further, the themes indicated by them are all current, appropriate and in fact are the ones that are championed by Government Of India.

But in light of the fact that the institution had not maintained the sanctity of the premises in the highest traditions of Kalakshetra (the reference here is to the not-so-elegant impromptu dance), the administration, apart from expressing its disapproval, has also informed them that hereafter, their institution’s request for space in Kalakshetra will not be entertained. I have also advised the administration to get not only get text but the sub-text of the proposed use before giving out the premise on rent.

I may also mention that some unscrupulous elements are playing on sentiments by spreading false information and rumours that non-vegetarian food was supplied and that wooden dance floors were damaged. These are utter lies but the most regrettable part is that a former director has lent her voice to these unfounded rumours and she did not have the courtesy of first checking facts independently or by contacting an official of the administration. 

– N Gopalaswami, Chairman, Kalakshetra Foundation

Support our journalism by subscribing to Scroll+ here. We welcome your comments at letters@scroll.in.
Sponsored Content BY 

Movies can make you leap beyond what is possible

Movies have the power to inspire us like nothing else.

Why do we love watching movies? The question might be elementary, but one that generates a range of responses. If you had to visualise the world of movies on a spectrum, it would reflect vivid shades of human emotions like inspiration, thrill, fantasy, adventure, love, motivation and empathy - generating a universal appeal bigger than of any other art form.

“I distinctly remember when I first watched Mission Impossible I. The scene where Tom Cruise suspends himself from a ventilator to steal a hard drive is probably the first time I saw special effects, stunts and suspense combined so brilliantly.”  

— Shristi, 30

Beyond the vibe of a movie theatre and the smell of fresh popcorn, there is a deeply personal relationship one creates with films. And with increased access to movies on television channels like &flix, Zee Entertainment’s brand-new English movie channel, we can experience the magic of movies easily, in the comforts of our home.

The channel’s tagline ‘Leap Forth’ is a nod to the exciting and inspiring role that English cinema plays in our lives. Comparable to the pizazz of the movie premieres, the channel launched its logo and tagline through a big reveal on a billboard with Spider-Man in Mumbai, activated by 10,000 tweets from English movies buffs. Their impressive line-up of movies was also shown as part of the launch, enticing fans with new releases such as Spider-Man: Homecoming, Baby Driver, Blade Runner 2049, The Dark Tower, Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle and Life.

“Edgar Wright is my favourite writer and director. I got interested in film-making because of Hot Fuzz and Shaun of the dead. I love his unique style of storytelling, especially in his latest movie Baby Driver.”

— Siddhant, 26

Indeed, movies can inspire us to ‘leap forth’ in our lives. They give us an out-of-this-world experience by showing us fantasy worlds full of magic and wonder, while being relatable through stories of love, kindness and courage. These movies help us escape the sameness of our everyday lives; expanding our imagination and inspiring us in different ways. The movie world is a window to a universe that is full of people’s imaginations and dreams. It’s vast, vivid and populated with space creatures, superheroes, dragons, mutants and artificial intelligence – making us root for the impossible. Speaking of which, the American science fiction blockbuster, Ghost in the Shell will be premiering on the 24th of June at 1:00 P.M. and 9:00 P.M, only on &flix.

“I relate a lot to Peter Parker. I identified with his shy, dorky nature as well as his loyalty towards his friends. With great power, comes great responsibility is a killer line, one that I would remember for life. Of all the superheroes, I will always root for Spiderman”

— Apoorv, 21

There are a whole lot of movies between the ones that leave a lasting impression and ones that take us through an exhilarating two-hour-long ride. This wide range of movies is available on &flix. The channel’s extensive movie library includes over 450 great titles bringing one hit movie premiere every week. To get a taste of the exciting movies available on &flix, watch the video below:

Play

This article was produced by the Scroll marketing team on behalf of &flix and not by the Scroll editorial team.