Chennai

Need support if I rejoin: Leela Samson

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Former Kalakshetra director says she will give serious thought if asked to return to post and would need considerable administrative support if she is re-appointed. An institution like Kalakshetra, she observed, had multifarious issues.

It all began at Kalakshetra Foundation's board meeting that was held on April 10. On Friday, exactly after a month, the issue of Leela Samson's resignation seems to have come full circle with the board unanimously expressing its desire to have her back.

After the resolutions passed at Friday's meeting were made known, The Hindu contacted Ms. Samson. She was asked if she would consider taking up the post of director again, should the Ministry of Culture approach her, to which the dancer replied, “I will definitely give it serious thought, considering that so many people from different parts of the world have come together (to oppose her resignation). All of them want Kalakshetra, the institution, to grow. It is not for my sake.”

‘Cannot work like a bureaucrat'

However, Ms. Samson said she would need considerable administrative support if she is re-appointed. An institution like Kalakshetra, she observed, had multifarious issues. “The director needs to work at different levels. I cannot sit in an office and pass files like a bureaucrat. Shows have to be put up. I need to teach people, encourage people, and cajole people. I like to get down to the field and work there. Maybe I am right, maybe I am wrong,” she said.

Administrative procedures can be tedious, she said, especially when there is a new ruling every other day. “(Each time) I visit the website I find that there is a new ruling. There are so many things to deal with — legal battles, civil works, financial accounting and so on. I understand their importance. But people trained in these areas will be in a better position to handle them,” Ms. Samson said. “As an artiste, I have the responsibility of keeping the creative process alive.”

‘Bottlenecks many'

“There are so many things to take care of here – schools, weaving section, students' hostels and their medical needs. In institutions like Santiniketan, the vice-chancellors are not expected to do such administrative work. But in Kalakshetra, the director has to take care of all. Why am I [alone] being held responsible?” she asked, adding: “I have ideas and new productions to work on. But there are bottlenecks.”

Overwhelming response

During the last month, Ms. Samson has received significant support from different quarters, both from the artistic fraternity and others.

Responding, Ms. Samson said: “I am overwhelmed. I did not do anything for them, just respected as co-artistes and colleagues.”

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Printable version | Nov 18, 2017 10:02:27 AM | http://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/chennai/need-support-if-i-rejoin-leela-samson/article3409425.ece