The Kerala governmenton Monday sought a report from the Sangeetha Nataka Akademi over actor and dancer R L V Ramakrishnan’s attempted suicide, allegedly after being denied an opportunity to perform at an online event. Ramakrishnan,younger brother of late Malayalam film actor Kalabhavan Mani, was found lying unconscious at a cultural institute at Thrissur on October 3.
Ramakrishnan had on October 2 posted on Facebook that he was denied the “opportunity in anevent that is being held for financially backward artistes”. “The Director of the Department of Cultural Affairs has been asked to submit a preliminary report in the matter after seeking an explanation about the news reports suggesting that Ramakrishnan was denied the opportunity in the event.
The direction was given on October 3 itself,” Cultural Affairs Minister A K Balan told reporters on Monday. He said the aim ofthe event ‘Sarga Bhoomika’, is to provide financial aid to artistes and performers who have not been able to perform due to COVID-19.
Balan said Ramakrishnan had on September 28 applied for a slot. “However, the decision on applications to the dance section is yet to be taken. None has been selected.
The public has acknowledged the expertise of Ramakrishnan and the government will support him,” Balan said in a release. The minister said he spoke to the hospital director and was told that Ramakrishnan’s health was stable.
“Further actions will be taken after considering the Director’s report, based on the Akademi’s explanation,” he said. The Akademi hasorganised a series of performances in Thrissur, which would be recorded and later brought to the public through online platforms.
For a basic remuneration to the artistes, the Akademi has included performances of all genres, including theatre, music, dance, percussion and Kathakali. Lectures and talks will also be included in the programmes.
Meanwhile, Minister of State V Muraleedharan tweeted that the suicide attempt showed “the hypocrisy and double standards” of the Pinarayi Vijayan led government and sought restructuring of the Akademi. “Kerala Sangeeta Nataka Academy must be restructured & those genuinely care for art must be appointed.
Discriminating an artiste based on his caste is shameful & the responsible must be punished forthwith. @CMOkeralawho preaches about Sree Narayana Guru, must follow the ideals propounded by the great sage & make way for art to thrive, devoid of caste discriminations,” Muraleedharan tweeted..