President Draupadi Murmu presenting the Sangeet Natak Akademi Award 2020 to PP Kandhasamy for his contribution to Tamil Nadu’s traditional street theater thirukothu at Vigyan Bhavan in New Delhi on February 23, 2023. Photo credit: Shiv Kumar Pushpakar
Observing that culture is the true identity of a country, President Draupadi Murmu on Thursday said that India’s unique performing arts have kept its incredible culture alive for centuries.
“Our arts and artists are the custodians of our rich cultural heritage. Unity in diversity is the hallmark of our cultural traditions,” the President said here while giving away the Sangeet Natak Akademi Awards and Fellowships for 2019, 2020 and 2021.
Ms Murmu said that civilization shows the material achievements of a nation but intangible heritage is reflected in its culture. “In our tradition, art is a spiritual practice, a means of seeking truth, a means of prayer and worship, a means of public welfare. Collective enthusiasm and unity are also expressed through dance and music. Art Linguistic diversity and regional characteristics are woven into one thread,” he said.
He said that Indians should be proud of the fact that the oldest and best appreciations and traditions of art have flourished in this country.
Art forms also transcend language and geographical boundaries, he said, adding that the music of MS Subulakshmi, Pandit Ravi Shankar, Ustad Bismillah Khan, Lata Mangeshkar, Pandit Bhimsin Joshi and Bhupin Hazarika was unfettered by language or geography. .
On this occasion, Sangeet Natak Akademi Fellowship was awarded to eight eminent personalities in the field of performing arts. A total of 128 artistes from the fields of music, dance, theatre, traditional, folk and puppetry were honored with awards.
Mahindra, who won the Y.G Best Actor Award, said it was a recognition for Tamil theatre. A well-known film actor, Mr. Mahindra said the fact that he received the award for his stage performance “is a very satisfying experience.” Dedicating the award to his theater group, United Amateur Artists and his father, theater doyen YG Parthasarathy, and his guru Shivaji Ganesan, Mr. Mahendra said, “This is my 61st year on stage. “I never left theatre. It’s nice to see the hard work being done to keep Tamil theater alive. It gives me the kick to keep going,” said the veteran actor and playwright.
The Akademi also honored 86 artists with special one-time awards to commemorate 75 years of India’s independence.
“Art weaves together linguistic diversity and regional characteristics.”Draupadi Marmu President of India