'Muslim' dancer Mansiya dropped by Koodalmanikyam Temple to perform as scheduled at Kozhikode Town Hall

Mansiya V P

Bharatanatyam dancer Manisya VP, who was denied participation at the Koodalmanikyam Temple citing her 'Muslim' roots, has been offered a stage by a cultural organisation in Kozhikode on the same day she was scheduled to perform at the famous Irinjalakuda temple.

The organisers, 'Manjadikkuru' said Mansiya has accepted their invitation to dance at the Town Hall in Kozhikode at 6 pm on April 21. Her performance will be part of a seminar titled 'mathethara devaswom nishedhicha nritham' (The dance denied by secular devaswom).

"Under normal circumstances, when artistic freedom is suppressed, political parties come forward expressing solidarity, but in Mansiya's case, nothing happened," Baiju Merikunnu, convener of Manjadikkuru, told Onmanorama.

Mansiya, a Muslim by birth, is married to a Hindu. The temple authorities, allegedly unsure of her background, had accepted her invite and even printed her name on a temple programme.

Late last month, after the temple had caused the controversy by dropping her performance, a group of 'Hindu' dancers backed off expressing solidarity with Mansiya.

"To perform there (at the temple), the dancers have to bear the expenses of their percussionists, but we will be paying for their performances because the right way to express solidarity to artists is by offering them their rightful stage," said Baiju Merikunnu.

Manjadikkuru is a wing of Vellimadukunnu-based cultural organisation Red Youngs.

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