Close to a month after it removed the Governor as the Chancellor of the Kerala Kalamandalam, the State government on Tuesday appointed danseuse and social activist Mallika Sarabhai to the position. The Department of Cultural Affairs issued an order appointing her as the Chancellor of the deemed to be University for Art and Culture late on Tuesday evening.
Starting her dance career at a young age, Ms. Sarabhai came into the limelight playing the role of Droupadi in an adaptation of Peter Brooks’ acclaimed play The Mahabharatha, which paved the way for her entry into the parallel cinema of the 1970s and 80s. An accomplished Kuchipudi and Bharatanatyam dancer, she runs the Darpana Academy of Performing Arts in Ahmedabad. As a social activist, she has been at the forefront to raise her voice against communalism and oppression.
The Kerala government had on November 10 issued an order amending the rules and regulations of the Kalamandalam University to facilitate the appointment of an eminent person from the field of art and culture of its choice as the Chancellor. The government amended Clause 4.25.0 of the rules and introduced the provision that the Chancellor of the university would be “the Chancellor appointed by the sponsoring body,’ the State government. The government had adopted a similar line for the appointment of Chancellors for the other universities in the State.
The order brought the governance system and management structure of the institution fully under the government control. The governance system and management structure shall be decided by the Government of Kerala, and rules and orders for the purpose will be issued as and when occasion arises, the order noted.
The tenure of the Chancellor, according to the government order, shall be for five years from the date of assuming office. The person once appointed shall be eligible for reappointment for one more term. Unlike in the case of other universities where no age limit was prescribed for the Chancellors, the government has decided that no person shall be eligible to hold the office of the Chancellor in Kalamandalam on attaining the age of 75 years.