The much awaited direct link to Indian art and culture for Malaysians in the form of a dedicated cultural centre run by the New Delhi based Indian Council for Cultural Relations (ICCR) is here for us now.
But how are we benefiting from this centre set up in 2010 and designated as Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose Indian Cultural Centre (NSCBICC) during Indian Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi’s Malaysian visit in 2015?
Most significantly, the NSCBICC is providing us with a constant stream of free concerts, art, craft and photography exhibitions, plays, lecture demonstrations, book readings, seminars and workshops. But again how many of us are actually attending these events?
I have attended a few of the concerts most of which generally go unnoticed by the Malaysian public. Under 100 people, most of whom are regular attendees are seen at performances at the centre’s moderate sized multipurpose hall.
The NSCBICC is spread over 7000 square feet and houses a multi-purpose hall, exhibition gallery, stage, dance studio, music room, yoga hall, library and resource Centre, at 17th Floor, Menara Sentral Vista, No 150, Jalan Sultan Abdul Samad near the Tun Sambanthan Monorail station in Brickfields, Kuala Lumpur.
Performances organised jointly by NSCBICC and local organisations are held at other auditoriums mostly around Kuala Lumpur. The centre bears the cost of bringing the artistes to Malaysia while the local organiser covers staging, accomodation and food costs.
NSCBICC director, K. Ayyanar when met recently said the centre was doing its utmost to reach out to Malaysians, for them to fully benefit from its activities.
Ayyanar said the objective of NSCBICC which is the cultural wing of the Indian High Commission of India in Kuala Lumpur is to showcase India’s rich heritage and promote multilayered cultural exchanges between the peoples of India and Malaysia.
“The establishment of the Centre run by ICCR, an autonomous organisation of the Ministry of External Affairs of India is an important initiative of the Indian Government in keeping with the high priority it attaches to bilateral relations with Malaysia.
“Although we introduce artistes and cultural troupes from India, we regularly host Malaysian exponents of Indian art forms including many who had received formal training in India.
“I take this opportunity to invite more Malaysian artistes, academics, writers and performers to showcase their talents through our centre.”
Ayyanar said one of NSCBICC’s priorities was to lend support to local cultural organisations that promote Indian art and culture.
We at theindianraas.com, a portal dedicated to promote Indian art and culture in Malaysia and worldwide, welcome this offer by NSCBICC and have officially submitted our proposal to work with the centre for our mutual benefit.
Qualified Teachers from India offer classes in Kathak Dance, Carnatic Vocal Music, Yoga and Hindi during the week as well as on weekends.
The NSCBICC has its own website which announces forthcoming events and provides other relevant information. To register please send your request to firstname.lastname@example.org
The centre is open from Tuesday to Saturday 10.30 am to 7.00 pm Apart from office hours, the Centre is open for scheduled events in the evening.
Photograph of NSCBICC director K. Ayyanar by Shivasangkari Kanawathi