President Pranab Mukherjee on Friday condoled the passing away of Indian classical dancer Mrinalini Sarabhai, saying she left an indelible mark on Indian classical dance as an eminent danseuse.
In a condolence message to her daughter, Mallika Sarabhai, President Mukherjee said, “I am sad to learn about the passing away of your mother, Mrinalini Sarabhai left an indelible mark on Indian classical dance as an eminent danseuse, choreographer and teacher. Educated at Shantiniketan and a disciple of Gurudev Rabindranath Tagore, she was trained in Bharatnatyam, Kathakali and Mohiniyattom. Dance was her life, passion and existence.”
“Mrinalini Sarabhai believed that the power of dance, music, arts and literature must be experienced by the common man. She was a poet and author as well as a dedicated activist who fought against dowry deaths, suppression of women and child labour,” he added.
The President also said that Sarabhai exemplified the fighting spirit of her mother and freedom fighter, Ammu Swaminathan and her sister Lakshmi Sehgal, who was Commander-in-Chief of Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose’s ‘Rani of Jhansi Regiment’ of the Indian National Army.
“She was also of inspiration and support to her husband, Vikram Sarabhai, the father of the Indian Space programme,” said President Mukherjee.
“In recognition of her invaluable contribution to Indian classical dance and arts, Sarabhai was honoured by the nation with several awards, including Padma Shri in 1965 and Padma Bhushan in 1992. Her death leaves a void in the world of creativity and performing arts which will be difficult to fill. Her tireless efforts to spread Indian classical dance around the world will be always remembered,” he added.
President Mukherjee further added “Please accept my heartfelt condolences and convey the same to the rest of your family members. I pray to the Almighty to give you and other members of the family strength and courage to bear this irreparable loss”.