Festival a tribute to cultural unity of the region, says Chandy
The State government will increase its grant for the Malabar Mahotsavam, one of the premier cultural festivals in the region, from the current Rs.10 lakh to Rs.20 lakh, Minister for Tourism A.P. Anil Kumar has said.
He was speaking at the inaugural function of the 16th edition of the annual festival here on Saturday.
“The Malabar Mahotsavam has over the past 15 years contributed to the cultural advancement of the region. Considering its importance, the State government has decided to increase its grant for the festival to Rs.20 lakh,” Mr. Anil Kumar said.
Earlier, Chief Minister Oommen Chandy inaugurated the Mahotsavam on the fourth day of the festival. He said that such festivals were necessary to promote unity in society.
“This festival is a collective effort which goes beyond boundaries of caste and religion. It is a tribute to the cultural unity of the region. This year, the organisers have introduced certain novelties. One of these is the decision to give performance opportunities to young artistes. We are also, for the first time, honouring some veteran artistes,” Mr. Chandy said.
The Kala Shreshta award for artistes of north Kerala who work towards promoting classical dance or classical music, Moplah art forms, and theatre was given to Kathakali maestro Chemancheri Kunhiraman Nair.
The Kala Ratnam awards for artistes from Kozhikode in the 25-50 age group who have devoted their life to classical dance, classical music, acting, and Moplah arts went to Aswathy V. Nair (dance), Sudha Ranjith (music), I.P. Siddique (Moplah arts), and Vinod Mekkoth (theatre).
The Sahitya Sammelanam, a literary fete held as part of the Mahotsavam, was inaugurated by writer Sara Joseph. A seminar on ‘Literary novels in Malayalam’ was held.