Daijiworld Media Network - Mangaluru (SP)
Mangaluru, Oct 14: Yakshagana, a beautiful form of art that has been staged in 52 countries of the world so far, has not been restricted to Hindu religion alone. This art form is also attracting people from other religions and is paving the way for peaceful coexistence. Yakshagana has artistes from all the castes and religions. People of different religions organize Yakshagana shows and enrich this art form with physical and monetary support.
Predominantly, Hindu mythological stories are staged in Yakshagana shows. Still, even in the past, people belonging to other religions were attracted towards this art form and even now such people continue to be mesmerised by Yakshagana. Even the new generation is embracing Yakshagana without thinking about religion to which one belongs.
The religious integration of Yakshagana has an illustrious history. Christian Babu who belonged to the previous century, was an excellent artistes. The audience were spellbound whenever he entered the stage and he was with touring Melas for three to four decades. Later, many Muslim and Christian brethren have been organizing Yakshagana performances. Many from these faiths have also earned a name by being excellent artistes in their own rights. Yakshagana scholar, Prabhakar Joshi, points out that many audiences who sit through the Yakshagana performance all through the night do not think about their caste, religion and other affiliations.
Currently, Jabbar Samo, has emerged as a fine Talamaddale artiste. He is equally good at performing roles on the stage. Muhammed Ghouse is a professional artiste with excellent skills from Badagu Thittu form of Yakshagana. Arshiya, a Muslim girl from Vittal has also been doing excellently in Yakshagana shows.
In Kateel, a local, Khadri Beary, used to organise performances by Kateel Mela and now his children have continued with this tradition. Muslims were the ones who started to hold Yakshagana shows supported by the village elders at Arasinamakki. In Mudipu, a Muslim used to hold Yakshagana shows which continue to be held even after his demise. P B Pinto from Permude and Monthu Rodrigues from Polali continue to organize Yakshagana shows with support of locals for the last over 30 years. Basheer, a merchant dealing with crackers, also has been organising these shows.
The story of Jesus Christ in Yakshagana form has become very successful. Yakshagana has no religious barrier and it is like sandalwood and Sahyadri Mountains. People need to maintain the dignity and respect associated with Yakshagana, says Prabhakar Joshi. Veteran Yakshagana artiste and expert, Sunnambala Vishweshwar Bhat, observes that Yakshagana has breached religious barriers and that it has the capacity to encompass all the castes and religions. That is why people from all the religions get attracted towards it, he observes.