Meet Mr. Datta

Mr.Datta, well known as Mr. Aralikatte has carved out niche for himself in the field of Puppet Theater. He was born in a family of traditional background to the well-known Gandhian, Aralikatte Rama Rao and Lalitha Rama Rao. He earned his Bachelors of Arts and in Bachelors of Education Degrees from the University of Mysore and Master of Arts and Master of Education from the University of Bangalore. Being a student, he was very much interested in the field of theater.

Mr. Datta receiving the National Award for the best teacher from
The President, Dr. Abdul Kalam
His first endeavour with theatre was during his college days and then on, theater has been an indispensable part of his life. He worked with Playwrights and senior theater persons like Parvatha Vani and Dr. B.S. Narayana Rao both in Kannada and Sanskrit languages. As he excelled in the field of theater, he got inspired to write his own plays, keeping in mind, the current social problems, amalgamated with inclusion of Mythological characters in his plays. He has highlighted problems such as pollution, deforestation, and adulteration in his plays.

These plays have won several awards, for instance, plays like the Gangavatharana. He has efficiently adopted plays like Sri Krishna Thulabhara, Lankadahana, Kumara Sambhava, Sri Krishna Digvijaya. These convey the myths and realities of life, thus supporting a moral in each play, as his themes for his puppet plays. His performance has classical music along with Yakshagana beats, making it a complete show.

As a part of his educational plans for his students, he has taken many chapters in textbooks; to name a few, Panchatantra, Buddha's Life.
He learnt practical puppetry under his Guru M.R. Ranganatha Rao, a Central Sangeeth Natak Academy Award Winner. He understood the philosophical meaning under Sri Ranga Maha Guru, the founder of the “Ashtanga Yoga Vignana Mandir” a spiritual Centre and Shri Shri RangaPriya Swamiji.( ).As a result he established his own puppet theater called “Putthali Kalaranga”, evolving a new style in the field of Puppet Theater called “Mudrika Style”.

His puppets weigh around 8 to 10 kgs, ornamented with traditional sarees which make them look exuberant. The movements are made by jerking them with iron rods thus making them lively. His plays have got easy conversation, classical Karnatic music with melodious tunes.

Recognizing his contribution in this field, he has been bestowed several State, National and International awards like Karnataka Janapadha Yakshagana Academy Award, CCRT Presidents' National Award, India, American Biographical Center, North Carolina, USA and International Biographical Center, Cambridge, UK. Datta was chosen by the Karnataka Janapada and Yakshagana Academy for its Annual award for 1996. He has also been honored by Directorate of State Educational Research & Training for using “Puppetry as an Educational Aid.” He has participated in several puppet festivals and seminars in India and abroad. The prestigious Centre for Cultural Research and Training “Teachers Award” for 1996 has been a feather in his cap. His name is included in World Puppeteer's Encyclopedia.

The Indian Government, Ministry of Human Resource and Development on recognizing Mr. Datta’s contribution to the educational field and puppetry has bestowed him with the national award as the Best Teacher for the year 2004. Mr. Datta is married to Smt Ramamani Dattatreya and resides in Bangalore city.

He has given several demonstrations and shows in India and abroad. His recent visit to Iran, Brazil, South America and Israel has got him and his nation, great recognition. The media has featured him several times Several live interviews have been telecasted throughout South America, the United States, Canada, Mexico, India and Iran. His works have been lauded by the Media and the public.  His name is included in the "Who's Who" general knowledge book and Asia Pacific Men of Arts and Culture. Through his puppet theatre he has been serving the Society and the field of Arts. He is also a Resource person in the field of Geo-Sciences and Arts.

... ... ... introduced by JA Jornal de Minas Gerais, Brazil-

  • Karnataka State Janapada Yakshagana Award
  • DSERT State Award
  • CCRT National Award
  • Excellency in Education Award
  • American Biographical Institute Award, North Carolina, USA
  • Distinguished Leadership Award, IBC, Cambridge, England
  • Aryabhatta award.
  • National Award for the best teacher from the Govt. of India
  • Raghasuddhalaya Puraskar
    Honorary Titles  
  • Shikshaka Ratna (Gem of a teacher)
  • Kalarathna (Gem of an artist)
  • Puppet King
  • Putthalika Chakravarthi
  • Karnataka Bhushana
    Art Form & Style   Rod-String Puppetry Show, Mudrika Style
    Temple Based Traditional Puppetry
    Important Performances  
  • World Puppet Festivals at Brazil.
  • Houston Kannada Vrinda, Houston, Texas, USA
  • 7th International Puppet Festival at Tehran, Iran
  • Pragati Maidan, New Delhi
  • Mavalankar Hall – Rajyotsava, New Delhi
  • Samkaleen Puthali Samaroh, SNA, New Delhi
  • International Doctors Summit, Bangalore
  • Navarasapura National Festival, Bijapur, Karnataka
  • Rashtreeya Puthali Samaroh, Udaypur
  • South Centre Cultural Centre, Nagpur
  • Ravindra Sadan – Bangashree, Calcutta
  • Narada Gana Sabha, Chennai
  • ICCR Invited Audience Programme.Bangalore.
  • International Summit of Astrophysics World Conference (IIA), Bangalore
  • Port Blair–A&N Island, Workshop & Performance
    Contribution for a Social Cause  
  • Girl Child Education
  • Adulteration of Food
  • Deforestation Problem / Air pollution

    Medium Utilised to popularize the art form

  • Purana Kathamala, T.V. Serial in Kannada, Tamil & Telugu.
  • The Puppet World – CCK, DD Network
  • Avalokana, Bangalore & Delhi
  • Datta & his Puppet World, D.D. International
  • Documentary – Central Sangeeth Nataka Academy, New Delhi
  • Puppet Photos used in Calendars by State Bank of Mysore
  • Parichaya – In Udaya T.V.
  • Datta’s Puppet World by Chandana - Doordarshan
    Puppets at  
  • USA, England, Germany, Iran, Brazil, Israel, Japan, etc.
  • Showroom of Designing Centre, Calcutta
  • Showroom of Designing Centre, Mysore
    Articles & Reviews  
  • Deccan Herald, The Pioneer, Delhi
  • Prajavani, Womens Era, Times of India
  • Indian Express, Asian Age
  • Taranga Hindu,
  • Sudha
  • Swagat (Indian Airlines inflight magazine)
  • Tehran Times
  • Publicacao diariamente, Rio-de-Jeniro, Brazil
  • Daily Gerais, MG, Brazil.
    Special Information  
  • Senior Artist in Drama, Folk Section and Educational Broadcast in AIR
  • Enrolled in Empanalment list of artist in ICCR, New Delhi
  • Co-opted member, UNIMA (India)
  • Included in World Puppeteers Encyclopedia
  • Member of Craft Council of Karnataka
  • Resource Person, CCRT, New Delhi
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