'Art Has No Religion': Another Artist Denied Stage in Kerala For Being Non-Hindu

Sukumaran said the committee informed her that her event had been cancelled.

2 min read
'Art Has No Religion': Another Artist Denied Stage in Kerala For Being Non-Hindu

An artist from Thiruvananthapuram has alleged that she was banned from performing in the Koodalmanikyam Temple dance festival on religious grounds.

Soumya Sukumaran, the founder-director of Kalanjali foundation of performing arts, alleged the temple authorities cancelled her dance performance scheduled for 21 April as she is a non-Hindu.

Sukumaran said the temple committee had booked her dance programme and that she found it "a bit weird" when they asked her religion.

"I said I'm a Christian when they (authorities) asked," she told ANI.

Sukumaran said the committee informed her that her event had been cancelled. "They said non-Hindus can't perform there."

"Though I'm a Christian, I've been practising Hindu traditions because of my passion for the temple art form. I was asked to submit my caste certificate to examine my religion," she told The New Indian Express.


"I told them my father was a Hindu and converted to Christianity after marriage. They said had the venue been outside the temple, there would've been no problem, but since this program will be conducted inside, it'd be difficult. I stepped back then," she further said, according to ANI.

'Upset by the Discrimination'

Sukumaran said she was upset by such discrimination that still existed in a progressive state like Kerala.

"Art has no religion. Had artists belonged to a religion, all of us would perform only on devotional songs. I have complaints from my community also. I was denied religious services from the church as I performed in temples on a Hindu devotional song," she said.

Sukumaran said she kept silent at first as she didn't want to trigger a controversy but decided to speak up now as she didn't want the same thing to happen to other artists, "especially when life has become really challenging for artists".

Comes Days After Another Such Incident

This comes just days after the Koodalmanikyam temple authorities cancelled Bharatanatyam dancer VP Mansiya's performance for being a non-Hindu.

In the past five years, the 27-year-old dancer who was born in a Muslim family in Kerala, has already been denied entry to temple venues twice.

Koodalmanikyam, located at Irinjalakuda in Thrissur district, was the third temple that denied her dance venue for being a non-Hindu. While her performance at the temple was slated for 21 April, Mansiya was told on 27 March that she would not be allowed entry as she is not a Hindu.

Like Sukumaran, Mansiya has also faced ostracism on religious grounds, albeit from Muslim religious leaders.

(With inputs from ANI and The New Indian Express.)

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