Response to the Open Letter by Ms. Leela Venkataraman:

Dear Smt Leela Venkataraman,

Thank you for your gracious letter on January 7. It is in this context that I respond to your critique and interpretation.

As a second generation Indian American, my focus over the past twenty years, as it pertains to some of my philanthropic efforts, has been to help foster the preservation and enhancement of India’s National Treasures in the Arts, for the entire world to appreciate.

Having grown up outside of India, the recognition and appreciation of our Indian heritage and its values is ever more challenging. My hopes and goals through my efforts, over the years, have been that all key stakeholders in the collective community work together in partnership to foster the growth and recognition of our rich cultural heritage... as opposed to dismantling it ourselves.

It is in this context that I expressed a fervent appeal, not a warning or a threat, directly to dance and music critics (never the artists) to work with key stakeholders, who have a vested interest in the arts, in the spirit of collaboration and professionalism to maintain the highest standards of the arts and their presentation to the world at large... be it in Chennai, Washington or anywhere else.

I hope that our collective efforts will serve as a positive example for an emerging generation that looks to us for direction; and is ultimately inspired by our spirit, enthusiasm and passion.

I am of course honoured to be mentioned in your manuscript amongst the ranks of such formidable arts patrons who have truly been visible forces in Chennai.

My personal philanthropic commitment to the arts and the artists is steadfast, and I will continue to do everything in my means to help further the cause of members of the artistic community globally who dedicate their lives for the sole purpose of invoking divinity through their work.

To these gifted artists I humbly bow down and honour them for what they do every day to make the world a truly better place for all of us.

In the service of the Divine Arts,

Dr. Sreedhar Potarazu

Keywords: Open letter