S. Harpal Singh
Thanks to ‘Telangana sentiment’, these troupes are able to showcase their skills
ADILABAD: It is a dream come true for the region’s little known folk culture troupes thanks to the byelections loaded with Telangana ‘sentiment’.
As different political platforms provide them with ample opportunities, the members of these troupes get to do something that is close to their hearts.
Balladeer Gadar is credited with ‘invention’ of the folk style in vogue that resembles Oggu katha or Beerayyalolla katha of the shepherd community of Telangana.
This style has been incorporated as one of the main weapons in electioneering by the Telangana Rashtra Samiti (TRS). The dappu, the heavy anklets and the white and red bordered blanket became the trademark costume of the artists who invariably sing the songs written by lyricists who are better known as Telangana kavulu.
Besides Gadar the list of Telangana kavulu includes Goreti Venkanna, Guda Anjaiah and Dayanand to name a few. They stress upon lambasting sections of people who are supposed to have wronged Telangana and sing paeans of the region in their songs. The poets have also to keep a track of day-to-day important political developments. These need to be incorporated to keep the politically aware audience engrossed in the performance thereby keeping the sentiment alive.
V. Ravi is in Adilabad along with 10 other members of his troupe to participate in the TRS byelection campaign throughout the period. The troupe was deputed to perform here by a ‘contractor’ from Siddipet who controls several such troupes.
“We do not have strict political affiliations but many of us are moved by Telangana sentiment. We chose to vent our feelings through singing the Telangana songs”, observed Ravi.
“Stage performance in folk style being a hobby with a majority of artists, they do not mind being paid comparatively less”, he added.
Despite the going being good for the folk performers, concern regarding their future is on the rise.
“Many of the artists are either completely dependent on such stage performances or are part-time employees. Will the powers that be have a favourable sentiment on their status in future,” questioned well-knwon author B. Muralidhar.