Palakkad District Judge Kalam Pasha stoked a massive controversy after forcing renowned Mohiniyattam dancer Dr Neena Prasad to stop performing at an event organised at Government Moyan LP School, Palakkad, on Saturday evening.
According to the reports, Pasha, who resides near Government Moyan Lower Primary School in Palakkad town, claimed that Neena Prasad’s Mohiniyattam show, which was scheduled to be held around 08:30 PM on Saturday was a nuisance to him and forced the organisers to stop the show.
The police stormed the venue based on the orders of the judge and stopped the hour-long performance titled ‘Sakhyam’ that portrayed the strains in the relations between Krishna and Arjuna midway. The senior artist and her team were humiliated on the stage and were left in tears.
Following the incident, Dr Prasad said, “This was the bitterest experience of my dance career. It was a humiliating experience not only for me but also for the fellow artistes who mounted the stage with high hopes after more than two years of hibernation”.
The show was organised by the Sekharipuram Grandhasala, where the book Ithihasangale Thedi authored by Sreechitran MJ, was also released.
The noted artist alleged that it was the high-handedness of a judicial officer. Dr Prasad said she had come to Palakkad after spending hours preparing for the dance choreography.
“It was an intricate solo performance for which I dedicated a lot of my time. It was performed with sober instruments such as violin, mridangam and edakka. It wasn’t certainly a cacophony,” she said.
Reacting to the incident, Purogamana Kala Sahitya Sangham accused the judge of displaying cultural intolerance. In a statement on Monday, Sangham president Shaji N Karun and general secretary Ashokan Charuvil called upon the people to resist attempts to silence artists and cultural leaders. The Sahitya Sangham said the state should not stifle its art and culture.
“The people of Kerala always give more respect and importance to artists than bureaucrats and judges. It is time we remembered that we had a Prime Minister who gave a higher position to an artiste (M.S. Subbulakshmi),” they said.
Meanwhile, the police said they had no choice but to follow the orders of the judge.
Judge Pasha accused by wife of Triple Talaq
It is not the first time Judge Pasha has been embroiled in controversies. Last year, Pasha, a senior judge from Pallakad, was accused by his wife of illegally divorcing his wife by issuing “Triple Talaq”.
The wife of B Kalam Pasha, a session court Judge in Kerala’s Palakkad district, had approached the Kerala High Court to register a complaint seeking action against him. In her complaint, the woman said judge Kalam Pasha had issued Triple Talaq against her through a letter on March 1, 2018.
Later, he sent her another letter claiming that there was a typing error in the letter. The letter said that the original date of issuing Triple Talaq was March 1, 2017. The judge’s wife also accused Justice B Kalam Pasha and his brother of threatening her with dire consequences if she refused the divorce. Interestingly, the brother of the accused judge Kalam Pasha is B Kemal Pasha, a retired judge of the High Court of Kerala.