Academic qualification not criterion for artists

CHENNAI:  An academic degree or certificate cannot be rated above excellence passed on to the next generation by distinguished artistes, the Madras High Court has observed. “The per

Published: 23rd May 2012 03:14 AM  |   Last Updated: 02nd June 2012 10:30 PM   |  A+A-

CHENNAI:  An academic degree or certificate cannot be rated above excellence passed on to the next generation by distinguished artistes, the Madras High Court has observed.

“The performance of a person, who has not gone to college but has taken a training from a Vidwan, will be so vibrant and different to hear than a person who merely passed out from college with a degree in Nadaswaram without sufficient training from a leading musician,” a division bench comprising Justices R Banumathi and B Rajendran said.

The matter relates to the government’s efforts to appoint a nadaswaram vidwan to the Sri Kallazhagar temple at Azhagarcoil in Madurai. When the job notification was issued in July 2004 with a condition that the candidate must possess a certificate or degree from a government institution, M Sankaranarayanan applied for the post. Though there were a total of four candidates, Sankaranarayanan alone had a first class degree in nadaswaram from the Government Music College here.

The notification was, however, cancelled and a fresh one was issued in December 2004 with a condition that the candidates must have a certificate to prove that he or she has undergone training in nadaswaram. A committee of experts selected a woman -- R Chandrakala -- as the temple’s official nadaswaram vidwan. Aggrieved, Sankaranarayanan approached the high court, which cancelled the appointment of Chandrakala. The present appeals were preferred by Chandrakala and the administrative officer of the temple.

The officer, explaining the reason for the cancellation of the first notification, said that there could be people who had proficiency in nadaswaram due to hereditary knowledge or personal training under leading vidwans. They might never have gone to a college to acquire a degree. The condition requiring a certificate issued by the Government Music College would thus rule out the participation of highly qualified persons having skill, eloquence and rich experience. It was to accommodate more deserving candidates in the selection process that the earlier notification was cancelled, it was submitted.

Concurring with the submissions, the judges pointed out that the selection had been made by a team of experts.

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