17 Yakshagana artists wait over a year to get award from Mangalore University

Over a year after announcing its decennial award to 17 Yakshagana artists, including two writers on Yakshagana, P. Dayananda Pai and P. Satish Pai, the Yakshagana Adhyayana Kendra at Mangalore University has not given the award.

The university was to present the award on November 27, 2021, at the inauguration of the decennial celebration of the kendra. It was postponed owing to the model code of conduct for the December 10, 2021, election to the Legislative Council. But the cultural programme scheduled on that day continued.

The 17 artists selected for the award included Puttige Raghurama Holla, Dinesh Ammannaya, Subrahmanya Dhareshwara, Kuriya Ganapathi Bhat, Padyana Shankaranarayana Bhat, Harinarayana Baipadithaya, Aruva Koragappa Shetty, Shivarama Jogi, Kumble Sridhar Rao, Argodu Mohandas Shenoy, Petri Madhava Naik, Balkuru Krishna Yaji, Mukhyaprana Kinnigoli, Ubaradkka Umesh Shetty, Pookala Lakshminarayana Bhat, Uppangala Shankaranarayana Bhat, and Chandrashekara Damle.

But the award has not been presented till date, one of the artists told The Hindu. “I did not ask the university to select me for the award and I don’t think any of the 17 artists did so. Why should the university announce the award and later keep quiet for more than a year?”

In addition, the kendra has not announced its annual Yakshamangala Award for Yakshagana artistes for the past three years for 2019-20, 2020-21 and 2021-22.

When contacted, P. Shripathi Kalluraya, director of the kendra, said the decennial award is likely to be presented this March 18. Its presentation was delayed due to various reasons, including the non-availability of the Mangala auditorium as it was under repair for four months, and COVID-19.

In addition, the dates of the sponsors of the kendra (Mr. Pai brothers) did not match with the two dates of the programme fixed.

He said the Yakshamangala Awards, including the book award, for 2019-20 and 2020-21 will also be given, by selecting artists from among the 17. The artists for the two awards for 2021-22 are yet to be selected, Mr. Kalluraya said.

Meanwhile, it presented its last Yakshamangala Award for 2018-19 to the late Kumble Sundar Rao and Gode Narayana Hegde. The Yakshamangala Book Award was presented to ‘Yakshagana Angopaanga Samatholana Vichara’ by G.S. Bhat of Sagar. The two awards were presented on March 15, 2019 at the university.

The Yakshamangala Award carries ₹25,000 in purse, a citation and a memento, and the Yakshamangala Book Award included ₹10,000 in cash, a citation, and a memento.

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