Padma Shri Narthaki Natraj: Awarded for my art, not my transgender identity
Narthaki Natraj, who specialises in Thanjavur-based Nayaki Bhava tradition of Bharatnatyam, says that she was honoured with the Padma Shri award for her merit and talent and not for her transgender identity.
Padma Sri Narthaki Natraj honoured for her talent as Bharatnatyam dancer and not her transgender identity Narthaki says that she was chosen for the civilian award because of merit and her talent as a Bharatnatyam dancer and not because of her gender or identity.
Chennai: Narthaki Natraj, a renowned Bharatnatyam dancer from Tamil Nadu, is the first transgender to be honoured with the Padma Shri, one of the top civilian awards in India. Narthaki says that she was chosen for the civilian award because of merit and her talent as a Bharatnatyam dancer and not because of her gender or identity.
Narthaki is a professional Bharatnatyam dancer who specialises in Thanjavur-based Nayaki Bhava tradition of the dance. While thanking the government of India for recognising her talent and art, Narthaki told news agency ANI, “I was chosen not because of my transgender identity but on basis of merit as a Bharatnatyam artist. I have given more than 30 years of my life in the service of Bharatnatyam.”
Chennai: Bharatnatyam dancer Narthaki Nataraj, the first transgender to be awarded Padma Shri, says, “I would like to thank Govt of India for this prestigious award. The award has not been given to me for my transgender identity but for my merit as a Bharatnatyam artist.”
Even after having faced a lot of obstacles throughout her life, Narthaki, who is in her fifties, hides all the hurt and feels like a 16-year-old child. The transwoman calls herself Nityakalyani on social networking site Facebook as she feels like ‘a beautiful transgender woman, a beautiful dancer’ from inside.
On the eve of the 70th Republic Day of the country, the Union Ministry of Home Affairs had announced the names of 112 awardees of the Padma awards. This year, there were four Padma Vibhushan, 14 Padma Bhushan and 94 Padma Shri recipients. Apart from Narthaki, Prabhu Deva, Joravarsinh Jadav and Milena Salvini were also honoured with the prestigious Padma Shri award for their distinguished service in the dance field.
After Bharat Ratna, Padma Vibhushan, Padma Bhushan and Padma Shri are respectively the second, third and fourth highest civilian awards of the country.
Courtesy: Mirror Now News