Special Correspondent

Purogamana Kala Sahitya Sangham meet begins today Social activist Mallika Sarabhai will formally inaugurate the eighth State conference of the Purogamana Kala Sahitya Sanghom on Friday.

Thiruvananthapuram: The eighth State conference of the Purogamana Kala Sahitya Sanghom beginning here on Thursday will discuss the need for a common platform to resist the threats to the freedom of expression of artists.

Sanghom president Kadammanitta Ramakrishnan, general secretary P. Appukuttan and other leaders told a press conference here on Wednesday that the criticism levelled against actor Mammootty by communal forces for participating in the DYFI conference and the threats faced by renowned artist M.F. Husain and the staff and students of the Faculty of Fine Arts of M.S. University, Baroda, demonstrated the rising intolerance against cultural personalities.

They said the Sanghom would strive to evolve a strategy to break the stranglehold on society by the twin threats of global capital and communal forces.

The four-day state conference will take off on Wednesday with a cultural procession from the Martyr's Column at Palayam to the Gandhi Park. LDF convener Vaikom Viswan will inaugurate a cultural meeting at the park. Marxist ideologue P. Govinda Pillai will preside over the function. K.N. Panikkar and Ninan Koshy are among those expected to participate.

Social activist and danseuse Mallika Sarabhai will formally inaugurate the conference at a function to be held at Bishop Pereira hall on Friday.

Sanghom president Kadammanitta Ramakrishnan is scheduled to preside.

Cultural personalities O.N.V.Kurup, P. Govinda Pillai, M.K. Sanu, K.T. Mohammed, G. Janardana Kurup, Kovilan, Puthussery Ramachandran, P.K.R. Warrier and Kedamangalam Sadanandan will be honoured at the function by Education Minister M.A. Baby.

Health Minister P.K.Sreemathy will inaugurate a seminar on `Women: Cultural Imperialism and Resistance'. Tamil writer Paama will deliver the keynote address.

The delegates' conference will be followed by a play titled `Koottukrishi' to be staged by the Kerala Sangeeta Nataka AKademi.

The highlight of the third day's programme is a seminar on `50 years of Kerala: The problems in cultural evolution,' to be inaugurated by K.N. Panikkar.

Memorial meet

O.N.V. Kurup will inaugurate a P. Bhaskaran memorial meeting on the same day. Noted orator and writer Sukumar Azhicode will be the key speaker at a seminar on `Cultural crisis and the progressive literature movement.'

The final day will witness the release of four books authored by K.N. Panikkar, Vinod Vaisakhi, K.S. Richard and Sajan Evugene.

The winners of the literary contests held as part of the conference will be given away at the valedictory.