Mangaluru

Some Kateel mela artistes threaten to quit en masse

A file photo

A file photo  

There is no issue, shows will go on, says mela convener

With only two days left for more than a century-old popular Kateel yakshagana mela to begin its season’s tour, over 20 artistes who have raised a banner of revolt have threatened to quit the mela en masse.

It is to protest against the proposed rotation of artistes, particularly of a bhagawatha (singer-director), among its six troupes. But unperturbed by their move, the management has decided to continue with the tirugata (tour) from November 13 without reducing the troupes.

In all, 23 artistes of troupe No 5 of the mela, who met on Thursday, opposed the proposed rotation of artistes. In a November 9 letter to the convener of the six troupes, the artistes said that they opposed the move to shift bhagawathas Patla Satish Shetty and Srinivasa Ballamanja to other troupes. The letter said that the direction of Mr. Shetty mattered the most as their troupe was in great demand. They threatened that if the management did not relent, they would quit the mela en masse and the same letter should be treated as their resignation.

Durga -parameshwari Prasadita Yakshagana Mandali, popularly called Kateel mela, is attached to Durgaparameshwari Muzrai temple in Kateel. According to the temple’s official website, the mela was founded in the mid-19th century. The second troupe was started in the 1980s and subsequently, the other four troupes were added. Kalladi Deviprasad Shetty, convener of the six troupes, told The Hindu on Friday that there appeared to be some “lobby” in the latest move of the artistes as otherwise rotation of artistes is common in the mela. It is to maintain balanced common quality in the presentation of shows.

Mr. Shetty said that as a convener he watched the shows of all the six troupes and rotated artistes in the subsequent tirugata to overcome the drawbacks in the presentation of shows. Bhagawathas had been rotated earlier also.

The management will not be cowed down by the latest pressure tactics by some section of artistes. Necessary arrangements for replacing all those artistes who have threatened to quit are being made. If some among those who want to continue, can do so. But there will be a re-think on re-admitting those who have taken the lead on the latest trend.

He said that as a convener, artistes in all six troupes are equal. Yakshagana is supreme and not the individual. The shows of the mela, particularly the Devi Mahatme, are highly regarded and they had a sanctity to them.

Meanwhile, Yakshagana lovers widely criticised the move of the artistes in social media. One of the posts read: “It is just like asking not to transfer a government official. Meaningless. Shame”.

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Printable version | Jun 4, 2020 8:55:03 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Mangalore/some-kateel-mela-artistes-threaten-to-quit-en-masse/article20126778.ece

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