Chakyarkoothu has got a rich legacy but it seems that the new generation likes to confine it to youth festival venues. Majority of the students who participated in the event at the State School Kalotsavam do not want to take up the art form as a profession.
Representation of students from the Chakyar community was also very minimal in this edition of the arts festival. "It is not their fault. The time has come when you cannot survive by practising the art form alone. There are very few artistes who take up the art form as a profession these days," says Pothiyil Narayana Chakyar, Koothu and Koodiyattom artiste.
Students interested in the art form are not sure whether their parents will allow them to take it up as a career. "I would like to know more about the art form," says Anish Shankar of AKM HSS, Kottur, who won the event in the High School section. He narrated 'Rajasooyam' to emerge winner for the second time in the Kalotsavam.
Anish caught the attention of judges by weaving contemporary issues into the main narrative. The fall of a leader following allegations of sexual assault and parties competing each other by holding "yatras" found expression during his performance.
Despite representation from over ten districts, the judges were not fully satisfied by the performance of the students. They said the participants lacked variety. Experts who evaluated the performance opined that the students should work hard.