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Documentary highlights impact of Indian culture on South-East Asia

Special Correspondent

Preview of extracts, running into 18 episodes, screened at Raj Bhavan

— Photo: S.R. Raghunathan

in discussion: Governor Surjit Singh Barnala, former Governor P.S. Ramamohan Rao, the Prince of Arcot, Nawab Mohammed Abdul Ali, and film maker S. Krishnaswamy, during a preview of the television documentary, Indian Imprints, at Raj Bhavan on Friday.

CHENNAI: Indonesia, which has the largest Muslim population in the world, has 200 Muslim artists performing the Ramayana ballet everyday. In downtown area of Bangkok in Thailand, a temple for Lord Brahma is thronged mostly by Buddhists. In central Vietnam, about 70 towers of Hindu temples were damaged in American bombing during the Vietnam War. Today, there are about 20 such towers, which are being preserved as a world heritage site. In Laos, students of the National School of Music and Dance worship Lord Nataraja and several other Hindu gods every week. In Cambodia, a Hindu kingdom thrived for most of the period from the 8th to 15th century.

These form part of a television documentary serial, Indian Imprints, which brings out clearly the deep impact of ancient Indian culture on South-East Asia, particularly the five nations.

On Doordarshan

Expected to be telecast on prime time over the national network of Doordarshan shortly, the serial is a product of more than a decade’s research and a whole year of filming, according to S. Krishnaswamy, who directed the film as a project funded by the Prasar Bharti.

At Raj Bhavan on Friday, a preview of extracts of the film, running into 18 episodes, was screened before an audience that included Governor Surjit Singh Barnala, his predecessor P.S.Ramamohan Rao, the Prince of Arcot, Nawab Mohammed Abdul Ali, cancer specialist V. Shantha and danseuse Padma Subrahmanyam.

Mr. Krishnaswamy, who received the lifetime achievement award for documentary films at the United States International Film and Video Festival in 2005, said the film highlighted the influence of the Pallavas and the Cholas in the southeast Asian region. After the preview, Mr. Barnala described the film as impressive and commended the film maker for focussing on the influence of the ancient Indian culture succinctly.

Team members

Among the team members presented before the audience were Mohana Krishnaswamy, producer; P.K. Venkatasubramanian, technical consultant; Madhu Ambat, cinematographer; Rajesh Vaidhya, musician; and Lata Krishnaswamy and Gita Krishnaraj, assistant directors.

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