An over-enthusiastic theatre director's attempt to have a "simple and befitting" marriage at the Ravindra Kalakshetra, considered as the City's Cultural hub, has landed him in trouble. A police complaint has been filed against him for misusing the venue, meant for promotion of art and culture.

Ravindra Kalakshetra is the city's cultural pride. The over five- decade-old venue has been the primary platform for various amateur and professional theatre groups to showcase their talent. This is for the first time that the venue witnessed a marriage, a sheer private programme! The marriage of theatre director Shivu Honniganahalli with Pooja at the Ravindra Kalakshetra premises on Sunday has kicked up a debate over the misuse of the Kalakshetra for individual's purpose.

But Shivu had defended his action stating that it was his dream to wed at the Kalakshetra with which he has been associated for the past four years. His invite too was titled as 'Artiste's marriage at the art temple'. "I'm against splurging money on wedding. I always wanted to marry in a simple wedding and what better venue than Ravindra Kalakshetra for an artiste like me," Shivu had told a news channel. The Kalakshetra looked like a marriage hall with over 200 people gathered there to wish the couple. Guests were treated with sumptuous food clearly disrespecting the value that the Kalakshetra stands for.

Theatre activists have condemned Shivu's action. For, this is for the first time that a such an event was held at the Cultural Centre. "How fair is it to allow the venue for individual functions like marriage. Tomorrow, the platform will be sought for other private events?," rued theatre artistes to Kannada Prabha. Performing at Ravindra Kalakshetra is a matter of pride among the stage artistes.

"Ravindra kalakshetra is a cultural hub and personal programmes like marriage or others are strictly not allowed. We have warned the authorities over there, yet they have defied the order. The department has filed a police complaint against Shivu Honniganahalli for misusing the sacred place like Kalakshetra. Besides, this is a government property too," MS Archana, director of Kannada and Culture Department told Newsable. The department has also issued a notice to Binka Binnana Kala Thanda troupe for organising the marriage.

It is learnt that veteran actor Late Lokesh and his wife Girija Lokesh had exchanged garlands 40 years ago, soon after staging the 'Kaakanakote' play at the Ravindra Kalakshetra to seal their marriage, reports Kannada Prabha.