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Yakshagana has not lost its popularity: expert

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MEMORABLE MOMENTS: Sugunendra Tirtha Swamiji of Paryaya Puttige Math (right) releasing the compact disc of ‘Airavatha’, an episode of Yakshagana, at the inaugural function of ‘Yaksha sambhrama’ in Udupi on Monday. Vishwesha Tirtha Swamiji of Pejawar Math (second from right), Kumble Sundar Rao, chairman of Yakshagana Academy (third from right) and Chittani Ramachandra Hegde (second from left) are seen.
MEMORABLE MOMENTS: Sugunendra Tirtha Swamiji of Paryaya Puttige Math (right) releasing the compact disc of ‘Airavatha’, an episode of Yakshagana, at the inaugural function of ‘Yaksha sambhrama’ in Udupi on Monday. Vishwesha Tirtha Swamiji of Pejawar Math (second from right), Kumble Sundar Rao, chairman of Yakshagana Academy (third from right) and Chittani Ramachandra Hegde (second from left) are seen.

Staff Correspondent

75th birthday celebrations of Chittani Ramachandra Hegde begin

Udupi: Chairman of Yakshagana Academy Kumble Sundar Rao said on Monday that the popularity of Yakshagana had not diminished.

He was speaking at the inaugural function of the weeklong Yakshagana festival “Yaksha Sambhrama” to mark the 75th birthday celebrations of Yakshagana artiste Chittani Ramachandra Hegde here.Mr. Rao said that the everlasting popularity of Yakshagana was testified by the fact that booking for many “Yakshagana melas” by some of the renowned troupes had to be done years in advance. Many problems in the field of Yakshagana could be solved if the artistes developed good relations with one another, he said. Yakshagana had survived all these years without Government support. But this did not mean that Government support was not required for this art-form. Terming the contributions of Mr. Chittani Ramachandra Hegde to Yakshagana as invaluable, Mr. Rao requested him to continue to contribute in the years to come. Inaugurating the festival Vishwesha Tirtha Swamiji of Pejawar Math said that people should support and promote the art-form of Yakshagana.

It took its birth in the coastal districts of Karnataka. It provided spiritual, mythological and cultural knowledge to people. “A country can make progress in the real sense of the term only when it encourages its art, culture and languages,” he said.

Lauding the contribution of Mr. Hegde to the field of Yakshgana, the seer said that he had liked Mr. Hegde in the role of Bhasmasura in the episode of “Bhasmasura Mohini”. Sugunendra Tirtha Swamiji of Puttige Math released a compact disc of Mr. Hegde’s Yakshagana performance in “Airavata”.

President of Chittani Felicitation Committee T. Shivaram Shetty welcomed the gathering. Honorary president T.V. Rao delivered the introductory remarks. President of Udupi City Municipal Council Dinakar Shetty presided over the function.

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