Thiruvananthapuram: Koodiyattam maestro Kalamandalam Rama Chakyar and his disciple Kalamandalam Jishnu Prathap shared their experiences and opinions about the crisis on the freedom of expression being faced by the art form even inside the temple premises (Koothambalam). Noted art critic V Kaladharan moderated the conversation.
Kalamandalam Rama Chakyar opined that the older generation had put their heart into art that they enjoyed every satire in its true sense, but unfortunately the new generation is losing this quality. He reminded many incidents and previous experiences him and his teacher. Rama Chakyar shared an experience of his master in Thiruvananthapuram with Former Chief Ministers Achutha Menon and Karunakaran. His master was performing Koothu during the time of emergency about a missing king. The verse goes: “Rajane Kaananilla… Rajane Kaananilla… Rajan Evide” At that time Karunakaran entered the hall. Soon the audience gave a loud applaud. Then he noticed that Achutha Menon was also present among the audience. But both the leaders enjoyed it to the maximum and appreciated the humor sense of the Chakyar.
He also added that Chakyar had the freedom to use humor at anyone during past days and even the rulers had enjoyed it.
Kalamandalam Jishnu Prathap began with adding support to his master Rama Chakyar that there is crisis in using metaphors of olden times today. The intolerance is getting hike day by day. The language barriers and lack of compassion had affected the enjoyment of Koothu. He is of the opinion that the traditional art forms should follow its culture and tradition. Chakyar is not a joker, he added. He also shared his experience while performing the Koothu of 'Dhuryodhana, who went to meet Lord Krishna jumping walls’. He said that a group of audience likened it to the recent renaissance wall, that they walked out from the auditorium as an expression of protest.
Many art lovers attended the event. Noted writer and film-maker Shahina Rafeeq handed over the mementos to Kalamandalam Rama Chakyar, Jishnu Prathap and V Kaladharan. The session was held at Bamboo Groves venue in Kanakakunnu Palace as part of the Mathrubhumi International Festival of Letters 2019. The festival will conclude today.