A new full-fledged Indian Cultural Centre (ICC) was inaugurated by Dr Karan Singh, President of the Indian Council for Cultural Relations and Datuk Dr S. Subramaniam, Minister of Human Resources of Malaysia in CapSquare, Kuala Lumpur on 10th February 2010. The inaugural ceremony, hosted by the High Commissioner of India to Malaysia, H.E. Vijay K. Gokhale, was attended by leading personalities from the fields of art, culture, media, academia, government and business of Malaysia. Mr Virendra Gupta, Director General of ICCR, was also present. The evening featured speeches by the Chief Guests, followed by a dance recital by Padmashree Jayarama Rao, Vanashree Rao and group, and a reception.
The establishment of the Indian Cultural Centre in Kuala Lumpur is an important initiative of the Government of India, in keeping with the high priority it attaches to its bilateral relations with Malaysia. It will give India’s cultural presence in Malaysia a major fillip and constitute an important dimension of the friendly partnership between the two countries.
Located downtown in lively CapSquare, the ICC expects to place itself at the heart of the cultural life of Kuala Lumpur, offering a wide and interesting range of cultural services and performances to its patrons. It is spread over 8,000 square feet and houses a multi-purpose hall with stage, an exhibition gallery, a dance studio, music rooms, a yoga hall and a library cum resource centre. The ICC also has an off-site facility called the Netaji Auditorium with a seating capacity for 180 people, located at the Indian High Commission’s premises in Jalan Taman Duta.
The Indian Cultural Centre is set to emerge as the venue of choice for music recitals, dance performances, art, craft and photography exhibitions, movie screenings, plays, lectures, lecture demonstrations, book readings, seminars and workshops, attracting talent from India, Malaysia, and indeed across the world. All events at the ICC are free of charge and open to the general public.
The ICC has a full-time Director from ICCR and dedicated local staff. Qualified teachers from India offer classes in Carnatic music, Tabla, Yoga and Hindi, and Kathak classes are scheduled to be added to this list shortly. The Centre also has a well stocked Library and Resource Centre with over 5,000 books on Indian art, culture, politics, economics and fiction. It also houses a Tourism Kiosk and Education Help Desk to disseminate information in these areas.
Enhancing educational and academic exchanges between India and Malaysia will be an important focus area of the Centre. In this regard, a MoU was signed between ICCR and the University of Malaya on 10th February 2010 to set up a Chair in Social Sciences at the University of Malaya, to be staffed by a visiting professor from India. The MoU was signed by Mr Virendra Gupta, DG, ICCR and Prof Dr Hamzah Bin Hj Abdul Rahman, Acting Vice Chancellor of University of Malaya, at the University’s campus in Kuala Lumpur. ICCR has also decided to increase the number of scholarships it offers to Malaysian students to five per annum.
The ICC facilities are open to all persons interested in learning about India and preserving, promoting and enriching Indian culture, values and heritage. In addition to hosting leading artistes and cultural troupes from India, the Centre will rely on the large reservoir of accomplished Malaysian exponents of Indian art forms, many of whom have received formal training in India.
The Centre places special emphasis on working with local cultural organizations promoting Indian culture. It looks upon its work as complementing and supplementing the efforts already being made by cultural organisations in Malaysia to promote Indian art and culture.
A core grouping called the ‘Friends of Indian Cultural Centre’ has been created, comprising eminent personalities in the field of art, music, dance, literature, media and academia, as well as patrons of the arts, upon whose rich and varied experience and expertise the ICC can draw. The ‘Friends of ICC’ will meet from time to time to guide and advise the Centre on its activities and outreach towards a multi-cultural and multi-ethnic audience.
The ICC website was also launched on 10th February and will provide information on events and activities of the Centre. It can be accessed at www.icckl.com.my. The ICC will also bring out a monthly newsletter which will be emailed to interested persons and institutions in Malaysia and elsewhere. To register, please send your request to firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Indian Cultural Centre is open Tuesday to Saturday, from 9.30 hrs to 18:00 hrs. Apart from office hours, the Centre is open for scheduled events in the evening.
Address & Contact details
Indian Cultural Centre,
CapSquare Signature Office B (Level 1),
Jalan Munshi Abdullah,
50100 Kuala Lumpur
Telephone: 03- 2691 0437, 03- 2691 0439
Fax: 03- 2691 0436