Former Chief Justice of Jharkhand, M. Karpagavinayagam, on Friday, conferred the Isai Perarignar title on noted Bharatanatyam guru Krishnakumari Narendran and the Pann Isai Perarignar title on renowned ‘odhuvar’ S. Thirugnanasambandan, at the inauguration of Tamil Isai Sangam’s 71 annual Tamil Isai festival on Saturday.

The award carried a gold medallion, a citation and a silver plate with a cash purse of Rs. 10,000.

Mr. Karpagavinayagam said music disciplined and purified the mind and offered equanimity. The present-day youth were very talented, and these talents needed to be brought to light, he said.

Mr. Karpagavinayagam said, till his college days, he had been an atheist. Later, he decided to take up the profession of acting and joined a drama troupe, where he learnt singing and acting, which turned him a theist, he said.

In his opinion, a teacher instructed a student, whereas a guru constructed a student; a teacher sharpened the minds of students, whereas a guru opened up their minds.

In her acceptance speech, Krishnakumari Narendran said her mother began to teach her dance when she was just five, and encouraged her to take it up as a profession despite opposition from several family members.

She later learnt several nuances of Bharatanatyam by watching the performances of Padma Subramanian. She had been associated with Tamil Isai Sangam for more than three decades, she said.

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