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Emperor who stood for religious harmony



The dance-drama, "Akbar — The Theosophical Emperor," is the best example of Hindu-Muslim unity.

THE ANNUAL convention this year at the Theosophical Society Campus, Adyar, was the forum for the staging of "Akbar — The Theosophical Emperor," a dance-drama specially choreographed for the occasion.

The president of the Theosophical Society, Radha Burnier, was keen on the production since she felt that the life of Akbar was the best example of Hindu-Muslim unity, badly needed in the country today. The production emphasised the two values that Akbar stood for — ahimsa and religious harmony.

This production was choreographed by Krishnaveni Lakshmanan, senior dancer and former principal of Kalakshetra. The verses in Hindi were penned by Dr. Subramanium and Kamakshi Subramanium and set to music by P. Ramamurthi Rao who has trained with Bhimsen Joshi and K. V. Narayanaswamy.

The narration traces the birth of Akbar, his training under Bairam Khan, coronation at the age of 13 and the expansion of the empire under the guidance of Bairam Khan.

The story also highlights how Akbar fostered Hindu-Muslim unity, his love for music, especially the divine music of Tansen and his guru Haridas. The last scene had representatives of all religions stating the truth that they worshipped. The essence of all religions was brought out as well as the truth that the Supreme Creator is one.

Beautifully choreographed by Krishnaveni, vocal support for the production was provided by Ramamurthi Rao, Vijay Jesudas, Hema Sethuraman and Rajalakshmi. Sridhar, an artiste from Bangalore, creditably performed as Akbar.

With Gayatri as the narrator, the dancers included Thiruchelwan, Sudheesh, Premnath, Madhusoodhanan, Balagurunathan, Mohan, Santosh and Lavanya.

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