Ummid Assistant

Indian students in Germany need not pay to study: Envoy

Welcome Guest! You are here: Home Life & Style

Of reviving Kerala culture and integrating Gulf Malayalis

Sunday October 21, 2012 09:25:24 PM, Malavika Vettath, IANS

Dubai: He quit India's space agency many years ago to spur a revival of India's cultural traditions across the world. Today, Nataraja 'Soorya' Krishnamoorthy is busy trying to rejuvenate Kerala's age-old arts, enable folk and theatre artists to live a more dignified life and also integrate Malayali artistes living outside Kerala, especially those in the Gulf countries.

Krishnamoorthy, the brain behind the reputed Soorya Festival, is determined to use his position as the current Kerala Sangeetha Nataka Akademi chairman to make a difference by recognising "the genuine artistes" in the state and the contribution of Pravasi Malayalis - those living outside it.

"I want people to know who the genuine artistes are. All these years I have been doing it through Soorya, now I will use my position to implement it," Krishnamoorthy, who has been a member of the expert committee of the Indian government's Department of Culture, told IANS in an interview here.

And by genuine artistes, he refers to those practising classical dance, music, theatre, Vaadyam (the percussionists of Kerala) and Kathaprasangam (the centuries-old art of storytelling that is high in satire and carries messages of social reform), apart from other folk and ritualistic arts.

"If these people are full-time professional artistes, they are poor. They are unable to earn money from their arts," said Krishnamoorthy, who quit the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) after putting in 27 years as an engineer-scientist.

Thus, the first step he took within months of assuming office last year was to get the artists medical insurance with help from several well-wishers, including top Malayalam movie stars.

"Their health is a priority. They are unable to go to hospital or buy medicines. So we are now providing them mediclaim upto Rs.100,000. They can get admitted to any hospital, hire an ambulance and buy medicines. And I haven't taken money from the government to pay the insurance premium. Several people like (actors) Mohanlal and Mammootty have given huge amounts because of their friendship. So also B.R. Shetty, the CEO of UAE Exchange."

Krishnamoorthy has also secured them life insurance policies in case of accidents.

"These artists often have to drive home at night after a performance in faraway towns. And this many times leads to accidents and death. In such cases, Rs.200,000 will go to their family."

Krishnamoorthy's biggest link to the Gulf countries is Shetty, also the chairman of the NMC healthcare group and the chief patron of the Soorya Festival. He hopes to now integrate more Pravasi Malayalis through culture.

"Gulf Malayalis miss their culture so they preserve it better. So they must be recognised," he stressed, referring to the over 25 lakh Malayalis in the region.

"I thought Pravasi Malayalis should also get some benefit of the Akademi. They have never been recognised so far."

Krishnamoorthy also has the support of Kerala Chief Minister Oomen Chandy. "The chief minister said that with half the effort, you will get double the benefit in Gulf countries."

Having held meetings with several Malayali organisations in the Gulf, his aim is to unite them through the Akademi, cutting across communities and religion.

"It's a great dream to bring together the Malayali associations in the Gulf," he said.

Krishnamoorthy wants three awards, equivalent to the Akademi award in Kerala, to be given to artistes in each Gulf country. He has also started the process of holding theatre competitions in the Gulf countries.

The move to assimilate the Gulf Malayalis comes close on the heels of reaching out to those living in different parts of India.

"We have made four zones with headquarters at Chennai, Delhi, Kolkata and Mumbai. We are trying to give five Akademi awards to artistes living outside Kerala."

Krishnamoorthy is the founder of the 36 year-old Soorya Stage and Film Society, which has chapters in 36 countries, including Britain, Australia, UAE, Saudi Arabia and South Africa. The Soorya Festival, which has been recognised as the longest running festival in the world by the Limca Book of Records, has now become a 365-day event spanning several Indian cities.

Having spent decades promoting Indian culture, Krishnamoorthy is disillusioned at the way artistes are treated by the government and the people.

"Our tradition says artistes are not for entertaining others. Artistes are very close to god. But Bollywood stars and sportspersons get Padma awards at a very young age but artistes who give their whole life to art and culture get no recognition," Krishnammorthy lamented, citing eminent Malayalam playwright Thoppil Bhasi and poet P. Bhaskaran among those who truly deserved more honours.

Asked why he quit his well-paying ISRO job to promote cultural traditions, he attributed this to an "inner calling".

"Even if one person gets enriched with each of my efforts, I get a sense of satisfaction," Krishnammorthy said.

(Malavika Vettath can be contacted at




Home | Top of the Page


Note: By posting your comments here you agree to the terms and conditions of

Comments powered by DISQUS



More Headlines

Hip disorder cured using stem cells

How brain senses location, direction decoded

West Bank elections: Fatah claims victory

Veteran filmmaker Yash Chopra passes away

China's richest woman is worth $6 bn

Microsoft offers tech courses to Indian academia

Does Newsweek's end portend a trend?

Formula One family looking for hassle-free Indian visa

Pakistan aiding terrorists' infiltration into India: Shinde

Narendra Modi meets RSS brass ahead of polls

Ahl-e-Hadees: Not part of 'T' syndicate you are forced to believe

Indian students in Germany need not pay to study: Envoy

Kidnapped engineers in Meghalaya still untraced


Top Stories

UN General Assembly chief hints at Palestinian getting upgrade status

Having failed last year to secure full U.N. membership due to U.S. opposition, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas said last month he

Palestinian bid for UN membership gets strong India backing

'After UN bid for Palestine US ceases to remain arbiter of Middle East peace'


  Most Read

Top Indian star Aamir Khan on way to Haj with mother

Embarking on Haj was a long-overdue wish of Aamir Khan's mother Zeenat Hussain who belongs to the family of Maulana Abul Kalam Azad - the great Indian Muslim scholar and freedom 

Indian students in Germany need not pay to study: Envoy

Germany, a hub of quality scientific research and innovation, is keen to attract the brightest Indian minds for further studies and research and has as an incentive made it easier for students to stay over and work, the country's envoy has said. Another incentive for students is that German universities 


  News Pick

Three from Malegaon among 86 selected for free UPSC/MPSC coaching

Three students of Malegaon are among the 86 who have been selected for a year-long coaching to be organised free of cost for targeted preparation of the civil services exams to be held next year. These students were selected based on the written tests and personal interviews 

Ahl-e-Hadees: Not part of 'T' syndicate you are forced to believe

Quite possible SIMI members might be adopting these things during their prayers, but Jamiat Ahle Hadees never agreed to the alleged ideologies of SIMI and its former parent body 

Kidnapped engineers in Meghalaya still untraced

Security forces have launched an operation in western Meghalaya to rescue five people, including three road engineers of a Hyderabad-based road construction 

Three engineers of Hyderabad firm abducted in Meghalaya

Israeli military storm Gaza bound aid ship; invite strong condemnation

A ship carrying pro-Palestinian activists seeking to breach Israel's naval blockade on Gaza has "come under attack" shortly  


Picture of the Day

Mrs Mohsina Kidwai along with Aligarh Muslim University (AMU) VC Lt. Gen. (Retd.) Zameer Uddin Shah riding the traditional chariot on her way to the Athletics Ground. Mrs Kidwai was the Chief Guest of the Sir Syed Day special function organised at the AMU on October 17.



RSS  |  Contact us


| Quick links



Subscribe to

Ummid Assistant



Science & Technology



About us




Government Schemes










Contact us




    Disclaimer | Terms of Use | Advertise with us | Link Exchange is part of the Awaz Multimedia & Publications providing World News, News Analysis and Feature Articles on Education, Health. Politics, Technology, Sports, Entertainment, Industry etc. The articles or the views displayed on this website are for public information and in no way describe the editorial views. The users are entitled to use this site subject to the terms and conditions mentioned.

2012 Awaz Multimedia & Publications. All rights reserved.