Rangaprabhath and Gandhian ideology

Nurturing Gandhian Values

Prof.G.Sankara Pillai, the chief source of inspiration to Rangaprabhath and the Founder-President Guru Kochunarayana Pillai who nurtured it with loving care were ardent followers of Gandhi, both temperamentally and in life style. Hence it was natural for Rangaprabhath to suffuse its activities with Gandhian content right from its beginning. Prof. Sankara Pillai’s plays have a Gandhian slant thematically and this is more pronounced in all his 13 children’s plays. These plays of Prof. Pillai have not only influenced a generation of young artists but also a considerable segment of the community around the campus.

In addition to this, the Rangaprabhath under its founder President has taken special care to instill Gandhian values and attitudes in young children by exposing them to a variety of situations and special programmes like camps, workshops, training programmes, festivals, interaction with senior Gandhian intellectuals and activists, visit to places connected with Gandhi, essay, elocution  competitions, painting, creative dramatics, rendition of National songs, screening of films on Gandhi and Gandhian themes, special programmes on National leaders have been integral part of Rangaprabhath’s programmes all along.

During the 50th martyrdom of Gandhi and 125th birth anniversary of Gandhi Rangaprabhath organized several special programmes related to Gandhi with a view to involve teachers and others to help create an atmosphere in educational institutions to further serious studies of Gandhi and Gandhian values. Several special summer programmes on Gandhi were held in Rangaprabhath in association with Gandhi Smriti and Darshan Samiti, New Delhi. Another major activity in which Rangaprabhath was involved in this direction was the help it rendered during the state-wide year-long Gandhi Sahithyotsav (Festival of Gandhi Literature) in 1993-94.  This was followed by another major music programme on Gandhi which was developed under Smt. K.S.Geetha. This was successfully presented in several schools in Thiruvananthapuram and Kollam district.

Several senior Gandhian leaders and  National Gandhian Institutions were appreciating Rangaprabhath’s commitment to the promotion of Gandhian values and it was natural therefore for Rangaprabhath to undertake a major initiative to bring Gandhi and Gandhian values as the focus of a dance drama and the result was "Shantiyaai, Shantigeethamaai" (The Melody of Peace) scripted by the renowned Gandhian and writer Dr. N.Radhakrishnan and directed by Prof. S.Ramanujam, former Professor of Drama, Tamil University, Thanjavur. This venture invited national attention and the play was successfully presented in several places across India .

The  "Shantiyaai, Shantigeethamaai", in traditional style, is cast as a group of children's creative response to Gandhi's Experiments with Truth. The play revolves round a ballad singer and his troupe of gypsies and two groups of children.

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