Expressing discontent over the poor public knowledge of Karnataka’s theatre traditions, Mallepuram G. Venkatesh, scholar and former Vice-Chancellor of Karnataka Samskrit University, stressed the need to document it. He was speaking at a programme to confer the ‘S.B. Jangamashetty Theatre Award’ on Saraswathi alias Zulekha Begum, a senior theatre artist from Mysuru here on Wednesday.

“Because of poor documentation, many theatre personalities are vanishing without being known to the next generation. There is a need to properly document the theatre tradition, its transformation and the lives and struggles of its stakeholders. The efforts in that direction may result in the publication of 10-12 vivid volumes,” he said.

Commending Ms. Begum for her contribution to the development of theatre in the State, Mr. Venkatesh said that the fact that she performed in over 10,000 shows across the State spoke volumes about her dedication and hard work.

“We should not feel bad that no government has recognised her talents and contribution with an award. We also dont need to desperately long for such government-sponsored awards. The award that she received now from a non-government theatre group may force the government to open its eyes,” he said.

Appagere Somashekar, assistant professor at Central University of Karnataka, made a lucid presentation of Ms. Begum’s eventful life.

Chaya Bharatanur, associate professor at Sharnbasva University, enthralled the audience with her vocal feast.

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