Kiran Seth, founder of SPICMACAY, says the organisation’s next step is to organise a reality show for dancers

Kiran Seth is a man on a mission. He is on a journey to promote Indian culture, especially amongst youngsters. His belief that knowing one’s tradition is every child’s birthright led him to begin Society for the Promotion of Indian Classical Music and Culture Amongst Youth (SPICMACAY), an organisation that promotes Indian music, dance and culture amongst the youth. He was in the city to start a sub chapter of the SPICMACAY at Mar Baselios College. “The objective is to keep Indian art and culture alive; the sub chapter will work for its proliferation,” says Kiran.

And while the Gen Y of today is curious about India and its heritage, Kiran realises that the exposure to India and its art and culture has to be entertaining too. That is why SPICMACAY introduced Naad Bhed, the first reality show on national television. The programme which brings together Carnatic and Hindustani music has maestros such as T.N. Krishnan, Pandit Shiv Kumar Sharma and Pandit Hariprasad Chaurasia in the judging panel. “The finals will be screened at the end of the month.”

If Naad Bhed focusses on Indian classical music, likewise SPICMACAY hopes to organise a programme for Indian classical dance. “The programme has been tentatively named Dance of the Divine. We will be focussing on eight different dance forms of India including Mohiniyattam and Kathakali.”

The seed for the idea for a reality show for Indian music and now for Indian dance sprouted from the various households Kiran visits during his journey. “It is basically selling old wine in new bottle. Reality shows is a reality and using the ‘talent hunt model’ is a tactic to promote the art instead. We have also introduced the concept of a prize money and will be organising stages for the winners to perform. We have two pre-finalists from Kerala – Mahadevan S. (Carnatic vocal) and R.B. Ramjay (mridangam) in Naad Bhed. The finals will be aired on DD National at the end of the month.”

Last year, SPICMACAY conducted 375 events such as Carnatic concerts, film screenings and craft workshops at various education institutions in Kerala. “We organise such events in a bid to introduce the student community to various facets of our culture; it is basically part of our 2020 movement to have our presence felt in every school and college so as to motivate the youth to conserve our heritage.”

The 36-year-old organisation will also be organising a State-level convention at IIM-Kozhikode from February 22 to February 24. “Pandit Vishwa Mohan Bhatt will perform on day one and L. Subramanian on the concluding day. One of Kavalam Narayana Panikker’s plays will also be staged during the fete.”

There are also scholarship schemes where in those between the ages of 14 and 26 can live with an “inspiring human being such as the Dalai Lama, Aruna Roy and Pandit Birju Maharaj for one month so that they can imbibe the best from them,” he says.