Chief Minister M. Karunanidhi launched the fourth edition of the Chennai Sangamam on the theme ‘Pirappokkum,’ that gave a call to give up war and demolish caste and religious barriers.
It was a performance dominated by the presence of folk music peppered with classical singing and dance. Enacted on a dais beside a replica of the Thanjavur Big Temple, the theme was narrated by ‘therukkuthu’ artists.
Choreographed by Prasanna Ramaswami, the theme used every form of folk art suitably to tell the story.
If Kaniyan Koothu, normally performed in the temple of Sudalai Madan, the god of graveyard, conjured up images of corpses, ‘oppari’ brought out the pain in death. Amidst destruction, everyone was waiting for the arrival of a new “Kottravai” or Mahakali, who would offer salvation for mankind, and she finally arrived. The culmination featured a performance by actor and classical dancer Shobana, surrounded by all artists.
Mr. Karunanidhi, who was full of praise for the performance, said the youth should only inherit the bravery from the scenes narrated in Purananuru songs and not the war. He compared the Kali on the dais to Parasakthi invoked by national poet Subramania Bharathi.
Stressing that the Tamils could never be defeated so long as they retained their fervour, the Chief Minister pointed out how the movement of Periyar saved the Tamils from attempts to sideline them in their own soil.
Pointing out that ‘Pirappokkum Yella Uyirkkum’ was also the theme of the Classical Tamil Conference, the Chief Minister complimented the organisers on taking the Sangamam to other parts of the State.
Coordinator of the event and Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam MP Kanimozhi said the objective of the Chennai Sangamam was to re-link the displaced people with their roots. Deputy Chief Minister M.K. Stalin, Tourism Minister N. Suresh Rajan, the Secretary, Tourism Department, V. Irai Anbu, and Fr Jagath Gasper of Tamil Maiyam participated in the programme.