Musician M.K. Arjunan opens ‘Asantham’; event to witness keen competition among students of over 190 colleges
A colourful procession attended by hundreds of youths marked the beginning of the five-day Mahatma Gandhi University (MGU) Arts Festival here on Friday.
The procession began from Maharaja’s College and proceeded to Menaka Junction before ending at Rajendra Maidan, the main venue. Traditional art and dance forms were presented during the procession that caught the attention of Kochiites.
Veteran music director M.K. Arjunan inaugurated the festival at a function held at Rajendra Maidan in the evening. Critic M.K. Sanoo; Hibi Eden, MLA; Greater Cochin Development Authority Chairman C.N. Mohanan; filmmaker Roshni Dinaker, and Maharaja’s College Principal K.N. Krishnakumar were present. Arjunan Master, who won the State award for the best music director, was felicitated on the occasion.
Titled ‘Asantham’ in memory of late artist Asanthan, the arts fest will witness keen competition among students of over 190 colleges. The competitions will be held in 57 events. The main venue at Rajendra Maidan has been named Asanthan Nagar as a mark of protest against those who showed disrespect to the artist’s body, when it was taken to the nearby Durbar Hall Art Centre for the public to pay homage in January this year.
More than 3,000 students are expected to participate in various stage and off-stage events. Soon after the inaugural function, a Thiruvathira competition was held at Rajendra Maidan. Besides the main venue, competitions will be held at Maharaja’s College and Government Law College.
The centenary auditorium at Maharaja’s College has been named after late journalist-activist Gauri Lankesh. The Bharatanatyam (male category) competition was held at Law College assembly hall, which has been named ‘Madhu Nagar’ in memory of Madhu, the 27-year-old Adivasi youth who was killed by a mob at Attapady. The festival will shift to top gear on Saturday as various dance, theatre and literary competitions will be held on the day. The venues and events to be held are: Asanthan Nagar (Rajendra Maidan) – mono act, mimicry, skit; Gauri Lankesh Nagar (Maharaja’s College Centenary Auditorium) – Ottanthullal, Kathakali, Kerala Nadanam; Madhu Nagar (Government Law College auditorium) – Bharatanatyam; I.V. Sasi Nagar (Maharaja’s Malayalam main hall) – painting, light music; Punathil Kunjabdulla Nagar (Law College assembly hall) – poetry recitation; Kalamandalam Geethanandan Nagar (Maharaja’s College Physics hall) – elocution (Malayalam); V.C. Harris Nagar (Maharaja’s College English main hall) – short story, essay writing, poetry writing (English), essay writing and short story writing (Malayalam). The fes will conclude on March 13.