Leela Samson – (Un)worthy Inheritor of Proud Legacy

Leela Samsonthe Censor Board Chief (as with her usual condescending ways) calls most members of the board uneducated and an embarrassment. When legal notice was issued by 2 of the members, she was forced to apologize and play with words saying she meant “Cinema Illiterate” – What is her literacy on Cinema anyway?

(Updated on 14/12/2019 : The updated link where Leela Samson apologised  for her remarks) 


Reminds me of her days in Kalakshetra, Chennai where she was far more vicious and yet could get away due to the backing of the Powers-that-be. She changed the logo of years (since 1936) because it had Lord Nartana Ganesha with Lord Shiva‘s Emblem.


Citing superstition, she ordered stopping worship of all Lord Ganesh images in the campus for which traditionally puja was offered. But students at considerable risk to their own career with the help of some Hindu Cultural Organizations did not get cowed down and protested strongly. She had ordered removal of  Lord Ganesh Idols  but had to restore the one in front of theater due to protest. That is when her Judeo-Christian leaning began becoming evident. She tried to justify that with some compositions (to be fair, amazing ones) that were truly Sanatani and reflected ethose of the art and culture, but nothing could mask this bent of mentality. Her justification to be a rebel “My Judeo-Christian background gives me objectivity and clarity about the dance form” To buttress her argument she also said, the art community in Chennai is plagued and caught up with all factors other than those connected with the art.

Height was when she refused permission and threatened expulsion of students from participating in inaugural dance piece in the Health and Happiness Program Organized by His Holiness Pujya Gurudev Sri Sri Ravi Shankar ‘s The Art of Living in Chennai between Dec 5th to 8th 2006. As with done earlier in different states in the Silver Jublilee year of the Art of living (Mohiniyattam in Kochi, Odissi in Bhubhaneshwar and so on), it was decided to host  a performance of 500 dancers (one of whom happened to be my Daughter 🙂 showcasing Bharatnatyam as TN’s contribution to dance. She opposed participation of Kalakshetra students giving a ridiculous  Reason: It is a “Hindu Event”. She had no qualms to revel in the glory that this Hindu Dance form brought her. Unfortunately for her, the Student-Artistes ignored her threat, came and participated in the event, reminding her that Art is bigger than the Artist. She then continued harassing the Faculty who participated and coordinated in the event, till Karma caught up with her in the form of a CAG report.

CAG report severly indicted her ways of functioning – Principal Accountant General (Civil Audit) of Tamil Nadu and Puducherry raised objections to the awarding and upgrade of civil works, procuring of unused sound systems worth Rs.62 lakh and consulting an architect (and not a competent third person) to analyse tenders for the Koothambalam auditorium’s renovation.

Controrversial Renovated Auditorium (Koothambalam)

All the renovations and spending meant Kalakshetra took Rs.8 crore from the consolidated fund.Apart from renovation processes, the report showed irregularities in 16 appointments at the institution.

That is Leela Samson the renowned artist for you. Someone who faked her qualification to become Director of Kalakshetra, but thanks to her GodMother in Delhi, every rule in the book was bent to make it happen.  Rukmini Devi Arundale whose exploits (Sringara Rasa Controversy with Balasaraswati avl) itself became questionable will not be too pleased at her protege’s exploits. Just research on who peddled Rukmini Devi Arundale’s statement “The dance should not be sexy. Sexiness has no place in our arts” as Brahminisation of Bharatanatyam, Surprising because Rukumini Devi Arundale herself was Mrs George Arundale and how was it Brahminisation when she makes that statement? It is not that her composition had no Shringara aspects. But then narrative has to be set against Hindus and specifically Brahmins. Technically this pair, for all their best of achievements, can be primarily be credited for making the art diabolical

Screenshot of the Article in Daily Pioneer (linked in the paragraph above)

Reasons for her appointment as Chairman of Sangeet Natak Academy is also not far too seek. Not my point that being a Guru of someone from Gandhi family is a disqualification for that post, but that solely is not a qualification for the post either is the limited point I am making here. Or being regarded by those in Corridor of power will not make one an automatic choice for this position. During the raging controvery when Sonal Mansingh was sought to be replaced, I personally happened to listen to legendary Carnatic Musician Swargeeya Shri Balamurali Krishna Sir in his residence in Chennai (I was visiting him to invite him for an event) whose remark was it is now a “devil or deep sea” situation.

Excerpt from The New Indian Express Article

PS: A cursory Googling of “Leela Samson Controversy” would throw up results predominantly of “The Hindu” (not surprising, foretelling the things to come) and most of them drumming up support for her

Killing of Hindu Leaders in TN/Kerala: Signs of a Malignant Social Tumor

Shocking!!! 16 Hindu Organizations Leaders (Hindu Munnani and BJP) have been brutally assasinated in Tamil Nadu over a period of 18 months

I was returning from my annual Pilgrimage to Shabarimala and had just passed Salem station by Kanyakumari-Bangalore Express, when I got a SMS from a friend from Coimbatore with the shocking news that Sri V Ramesh, General Secretary of Tamil Nadu Bharateeya Janata Party has been brutally murdered by “Jihadi Goondas”

Martyr – Auditor Ramesh Gen Secretary of TN-BJP

In an incident earlier this month (On July 1st) Sri S. Vellaiyappan, Tamil Nadu State Secretary of the Hindu Munnani, was hacked and bludgeoned to death in Vellore. It is not a coincidence that he recently led a protest against take over of Jalakanteswarar Temple by the Hindu Religious & Charitable Endowments Department.

Sri Vellaiappan (Right)
Sri Vellaiappan (Right)

There are 14 other incidents during the past 18 months and many more across the state border in neighbouring Kerala. If someone thinks it is my attempt to communalize so be it. But let it be known that this based on confirmed news even from the Official sources from Tamil Nadu. With signs so clearly pointing towards such forces, I have no qualms in mentioning that rogue elements in the Muslim community have systematically targeted these leaders with active connivance of local authorities in carrying out their sinister acts.

(I am not naive or retarded to believe that there are been no complicity of local authorities in these issues nor am I stupid to see these assassinations as isolated incidents of crime)

When Sri Ramesh (Popularly known as Auditor Ramesh) became the 16th person to be martyred in a state (Check below for links of  various reports of other leaders Killed systematically) it did raise hackles of many and we cannot help but note with alarm, that there are some organized forces with vested interests, obviously Anti-National ones, working in a well orchestrated and determined manner. Proper impartial investigations in all probability reveal that this could well be  part of “Balkanize India” program of European/ American Conversion Factories with active connivance of UPA (Check my tweet link below)

What should raise our suspicions even further  is that these leaders of organizations whose presence or influence is negligible in these states (It is apparently not, with benefit of hindsight) which only makes it even more baffling. Check @emanin‘s tweet below.

Remember, Kashmir issue started off supposedly as isolated incidents till such time the malaise was so deeply set and before long ethnic cleansing happened. The separatists and terrorist had their roots firmly entrenched and is now bleeding the nation. Unflinching desire of “The Family” to hold on to powers by hook or crook, even if the country has to be dismembered ensured that Army was let loose to fight with their hands tied at their back. As some wise man said, Kerala/TN is headed Kashmir way (in the same sequence). We need to build up pressure on the Authorities to tackle this menace in all earnest and bring the culprits to book – most importantly the Masterminds. Unless we uproot the Masterminds (including those of Italian Origins here), whoever it is, a malignant tumour would relapse. We cannot afford this and….



Reports of  Assassinations & Attacks:

Senior BJP leader S Pugazhendhi (52) was hacked to death near the Nagapattinam police station while he was on his morning walk – July 11th 2012

Dr V Arvind Reddy (38), the BJP State Medical Wing Secretary and Indian Medical Association (IMA) Vellore Branch President, was murdered in front of the diabetic clinic owned by him. – October 23rd 2012

K. Murugan (45), former BJP municipal councillor, was returning home for lunch when the gang hurled pipe bombs and hacked him to death in broad daylight in the Paramakudi main bazaar – March 19th 2013

55-year-old Nambu alias Kuttainambu, secretary of the Hindu Munnani’s Rameswaram unit, was found dead with injuries in the head and chest caused by a boulder – July 7th 2013

கடந்த 12 மாதங்களில் பாரதிய ஜனதா கட்சி மற்றும் இந்து அமைப்புகளைச் சேர்ந்த நிர்வாகிகள் 6 பேர் கொலை செய்யப்பட்டுள்ளனர். 3 பேர் படுகாயம் அடைந்து உயிர் பிழைத்துள்ளனர். இத்தாக்குதல் திட்டமிட்டவை என்றும், இதை மாநில அரசு தடுக்கத் தவறிவிட்டதாகவும் கூறியுள்ள பாஜக, ஜூலை 22-ஆம் தேதி தமிழகம் முழுவதிலும் முழுஅடைப்புப் போராட்டத்துக்கு அழைப்பு விடுத்துள்ளது. Dinamani reports: Atleast 6 Leaders killed recently and 3 maimed for life – 21st July 2013 Editorial

And Brutal Attacks

M R Gandhi, BJP’s state executive member, was out on his morning walk when the four youths who followed him on two motorcycles, waylaid and attacked him with sharp-edged weapons

Ananda Kumar, a Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) functionary & brother of Mettupalayam Municipal Chairman Sathish Kumar,  a member of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), intercepted and hacked by a gang of five or six persons near Nadur Kumarapuram – Nov 6th 2012

A bottle filled with petrol was thrown at a residential apartment complex in Ukkadam here, housing the residence of Indu Makkal Katchi (IMK) founder-president Arjun Sampath – 13th April 2013

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Pongal – Tribute to our Culture & Nature

Indian Festivals are a celebratory way of thanking the Divine for providing us with everything that we have and also to seek blessings for continued prosperity. As people, say it is us in India who worship anything and everything and it takes a helluva lot of maturity to do it. We have been taught to respect even non-living things are divine, let alone living beings.

On my last leg of my stay in Chennai, my karma Bhoomi, here is a tribute to the culture and people of Tamil Nadu. And what better way than to elucidate my expereince of spending the previous Pongal in the countryside. Thanks to a colleague and her parents who invited us over to their home in Kovilpatti and gave us an experience of a traditional Pongal festivities, its significance and lessons for us.

Pongal is one of the biggest festivals celebrated in Tamil Nadu. It marks the beginning of Sun’s journey towards the north (Uttarayana – which according to Hinduism is considered very auspicious phase as opposed to Southwards – Dakshinayana traversal of the sun). Pongal is celebrated with lot of pomp and gaiety over a period of 4 days. Since the Souramana calendar (Western Calendar based on the Solar phases) is followed, the dates usually remain the same i.e. Jan 13th to Jan 16th of every year.

Day -1:
The last day of Margazhi (Dec/Jan) is the first day of Pongal and called Bhogi Pongal. All the homes are cleaned and the unwanted, disposable things are collected and set aflame. This signifies transition from the old to the new. We were not expected to carry our old belongings to be burnt away there. Nevertheless as the host said, burn away your old and bad thoughts   Had to give it to him for his timely wit (and wisdom too)

(the Makara Sankaranti) is the first day when Uttarayan begins. This day is called the Surya Pongal and begins with the worship of the sun. We the city folks woke up to find the whole home a buzz of activity, the courtyard beautifully decorated with colourful Rangoli. This festival is a thanksgiving to the Divine for the abundant harvest and in turn prosperity bestowed. Pongal literally means “Rising up” and by extension refers to “Boiling over”, signifying abundance of prosperity. The freshly harvested crop (rice in TN) is cooked and allowed to rise over the brim of the pot and boil over. Yummm….the aroma was so mouth watering and we could not wait for the rituals to get over (our hostess saw the obvious impatience on our faces and went through the rituals in express speed – she clarified she never skipped any processes). The platain leaf on which it was served was almost licked clean by all of us.

The third day is called Maatu Pongal, maadu meaning cattle. Cows and Bulls were decorated with paint and bells and people pray to them with kum kum placed on their head, and people pay respects to them by bending down, touching their feet and foreheads, offering the cattle pongal. The devotion with which this was done was inexplicable – each one gave it more than 100% and there was a genuine expression of gratitude on the faces of the family of our host. We people were so scared to go near the cow and the bull. All it took was a big moo….from one of them for my son to rush far away from the courtyard. It was left for the three brave ones left (me, my wife and daughter – not to mention that we stood behind our host and just about reached the forehead of the cow – prayers to the bull were of remote type)

The fourth day called, Kaanum Pongal is devoted to meeting up other members of the family and paying their respects to the elders of the family offering them new clothes with a Dakshina. This is the day our host also left some food out on the terrace for the crows to eat. She said the belief is that the crow carries the food to the departed elders of the family. This was quite emotional because it was carried out with so much of feeling and intensity and we had to believe that the crow indeed carried the delicacy prepared right to the stomach of the departed souls.

Look back this festival has a lot of relevance to all of us

We should turn away from the darkness of hallucinating worldly experiences in which we live, allow the light to enter us and make us shine brighter. We should gradually begin to grow in purity, wisdom, and knowledge, even as the sun does, from the time it rises everyday.

Thanking the divine for all the good bestowed to us. Worshipping the sun which just goes about doing its duty without expecting anything in return. Worshipping the cattle signifies our appreciation of the part they play in our betterment of our lives.

Sharing, caring, appreciation, expression of gratitude, respect for elders and most importantly considering everything around as valuable.

This year, it was a special one for us in Chennai. Divya (Akhila) my daughter appeared on a local Television Channel performing for the Pongal Special program. She presented a folk dance (with a dash of Bharatnatyam) She made us proud with the rave reviews she elicited with her superb performance and our phones has never stopped ringing ever since the telecast……trrrrrinnng triiiinnnnggg…..let me rush, another phone call…..

Happy Pongal and Shankaranti