From the article ‘Far From Expectations : Ballet Dance at MGI’ authored by Dr Pavi Ramhota, and published in Le Mauricien of 23 November 2012, it appears that our enlightened Dr Ramhota is hell-bent to project the Mahatma Gandhi Institute, one of the seven highly-esteemed and reputable tertiary institutions of the country working for the promotion of both education and culture, as an abode of pompous intellectualism…. I am sure Dr Ramhota, being a part of the MGI family and having a long academic track record to his credit, could not have had such a malevolent object in his mind. But, why on earth am I having such a weird impression ? This is quite strange ! However, if I am proved right, it does not augur well for the academia.
Is Dr Ramhota critical towards light, darkness, MGI, socio-cultural organizations, the artistes, the Government, the top brass officers of the Institute, or the dance-ballet (you name it, he dislikes it !) ? This is simply not clear to me and, most probably, the readers as well. It seems that the ‘Doctor’ is lost in his own verbosity. His ‘spiritual part’ and argumentative self seem to be at a complete loss.
Neither of the foregoing entities deserves such an unconstructive appraisal, nor does the dance-ballet entitled, ‘Light of Wisdom’ put up by the MGI on 8 November 2012. As a matter of fact, the curtain was raised on that unforgettable evening on one of the best ballets, having an avant-garde perspective, ever staged by the Institute.
The readers will agree with me that such an empty criticism on the part of the author does not deserve a response, but for the sake of ‘letting noble intentions flow from this mind of ours’, I deem it right to highlight some flaws in the article and shed light on what the truth is.
i.     As per the lasting Hindu tradition of ‘Atithi Devo Bhava’ (Guest is God), each and every member of the audience was welcomed with due honour and respect. The hospitality of the School of Performing Arts towards its audience is its forte, for without them, there can be no music and dance, and no artistes.
ii.     The gist of the ballet given in the brochure was purposely shortened to allow members of the audience to discover for themselves the subtle elements and aesthetic values of the work, as depicted through music and dance. There was really no need for any extra-musical element to relate the rasika-s (sensitive audience) to the ballet. The latter sufficed.
iii.     The messages as well as Martin Luther King’s saying were appropriately given in the brochure in simple English to reach out to a greater number of people, helping transcend all barriers of race, creed, religion, age and educational background. A Sanskrit text, as flawed as the one proposed by Dr Ramhota, would have been unintelligible to everyone, barring Dr Ramhota, of course. By the way, the Sloka proposed by the Doctor should be read as follows :
‘Om asato ma sadgamaya
tamaso ma jyotirgamaya
mrtyorma amrtam gamaya’
‘Lead me from the untruth to the truth.
Lead me from darkness to light.
Lead me from death to immortality. ‘