Speaking on the occasion Keremane Shambhu Hegade wished that Yakshagana should become a national level form of art and folklore. "Yakshagana has a long established history which has been widely studied and proven. Now it is high time that this ancient art form of our ancestors goes up the ladder and shines at the international level in par with the other forms of art and folklores," he opined.
He dwelt long on the preserving and presenting the folklore to the next generation. "An artiste and art lover play important role in preserving any form of culture and art of a particular place. Academies can do little in this regard, since they work within a limited ambit. So the onus is one the spectators and artistes. But commercializing any form of art would not do any justice to it as money and emotions hardly go together," said he.
Shridhar Rao thanked all for having recognized him and awarded him with the Balipa award. He further said that the present generation has failed to present Yakshagana in its traditional beauty and form. "But if the artistes wish they can still bring back the ancient glory and pomp," he added.
Dr Kurunji Venkatramana Gowda, founder president of Academy of Liberal Education, presided over the award presentation ceremony. Gokuldas of Shri Sharadamba Seva Samiti was the chief guest of the programme. Hitarakshana Vedike convenor Dr Chandrashekhar Damle presided delivered the introductory note and secretary Dr Prabhakar Shishila delivered the felicitatory speech.