“Nothing about India is Pure”


Mallika Sarabhai is a performer with a purpose. Her practice embraces tradition as much as its critique. A trained Bharatnatyam practitioner, Sarabhai has cast the form to address a range of progressive contemporary subjects such as gender, queer politics, and caste. Aparna of the Indian Cultural Forum spoke to the artiste on her political impetus, views on the current political climate, and creative projects that emphasise the richness, diversity, and importance of evolving mythology through interpretation.

This is Part-III from a three-part series of conversations. Here Sarabhai speaks of India’s syncretic tradition and diverse cultural heritage. She asks why we are not secure in the greatness of our diversity, and invites us to throw open the gates and defeat the gatekeepers of what is allowed to define Indian-ness.

Also see | Part I of III: “Our Mythology is not Monolithic” and Part II of III: “Concerned and Dismayed”