Media mainly responsible for youngster’s ignorance about classical art: Sonal Mansingh

Acclaimed classical dance exponent Sonal Mansingh on Friday said she feels saddened by the young generation’s lack of knowledge about the country’s classical arts and the iconic artistes it has produced over the years and held the popular media responsible for not highlighting India’s cultural ethos.

“I feel bad that the younger generation of today’s India do not know the names of legends like Uday Shankar or Balasaraswati. I am so sad about it. For which I hold the press and the media responsible mainly. While there is so much of Bollywood, so many reality shows…more than 100 TV channels, where do you see anything about India’s cultural relations and artists?” Mansingh said during a session at the Kolkata Literary Festival here.

“I have been talking about it everywhere and I do not care if the media houses do not invite me ever,” she said.

The legendary Bharatanatyam and Odissi dancer said the government should also play a significant role in protecting and nourishing art and urged everyone to put pressure on the concerned authorities to change the current scenario.

“Let us put pressure on whoever is concerned and the governments, the West Bengal government, the central government… The government also a has a huge role in keeping the culture alive,” she said.

Mansingh said the cultural heritage is one thing that has made this country proud at the world’s stage many times and every Indian citizen should treasure that.

“I think the cultural heritage is one thing that has highlighted the name of India in the world time and again. Whether we talk about our tradition or antiquity…India has a strong cultural heritage which connects us by the same thread. We still have that with us and I think all of us should respect that,” she noted.

About legendary dancer from Bengal Uday Shankar, best known for creating a fusion style of dance by adapting European theatrical techniques, Mansingh said he was the first person who successfully took Indian dance to the West.

“It was Uday Shankar who really took the Indian art and dance to the west. And the people of Kolkata and Bengal are very fortunate to have had a great artist like Uday Shankar, whose name remains like a meteor,” she added.

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