ANDHRA PRADESH

Revive this art before it gets a quiet burial

On revival path: Prof. Jaydhir Tirumala Rao, displaying a copper inscription during a presentation on balladeer sub castes.

On revival path: Prof. Jaydhir Tirumala Rao, displaying a copper inscription during a presentation on balladeer sub castes.  

S. Harpal Singh

The balladeer sub-castes who recite ‘jati purana’ are experts in storytelling

ADILABAD: Lest the dying art of the balladeer sub-castes teach them the art of dying, a vigorous effort is required for revival of their rich tradition. “These balladeer communities can help one understand the sociological system of the past that was based on humane traditions in order to rectify the present defects”, opined Professor Jaydhir Tirumala Rao, Director, AP Government Manuscripts Library and Research Institute, Hyderabad.

The Professor not only studied the balladeer sub-castes whose members recite ‘jati purana’ but has salvaged a great number of manuscripts, talla patrams or palm leaf inscriptions and many other objects that were used as tools for story telling by the artists not long ago. He has identified 110 such sub-castes that formed inter dependent communities with many of the main castes.

Relevance

The Professor, who is also involved in rejuvenating the ‘desi’ folk art, gave a presentation at Adilabad’s Kala Ashram on Sunday on how such communities came into being. He also spoke about their relevance in the modern context.

“It will be great if we are able to learn about the music, theatre, literature, culture and sociology encompassed in the ballad system. The whole system of members of one sub-caste surviving by narrating the ballads related to the parent caste was humanistic in that it involved recital, listening, appreciation, honouring the artist and so on,” pointed out Professor Tirumala Rao, talking about the relevance.

Quoting the example of Adi Jambava Purana that was recited by Adi Jambavas, the sub-caste of Dalits he said, “By reviving just this one tradition we can expose the 30 relatively unknown Puranas. These Puranas constitute what is known as alternative Puranic literature”.

The effort for revival of the folk art of Adi Jambavas can be done by providing them with resources to get a couple of ‘pat’ made by the Naqqash community artisans of Cheriyal in Warangal.

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