Now Bengal’s traditional folk art ‘Patachitra’ is all set to be used in Uttar Pradesh poll campaign by Akhilesh Yadav.
In the forthcoming assembly elections, the artwork of Manu Chitrakar, an artisan of West Midnapore district will be a unique medium for Samajwadi Party to reach out to the voters of Uttar Pradesh.
Akhilesh Yadav’s work as chief minister is highlighted using traditional painting and accompanying song in Hindi.
The ‘Patuas’ (rural artists) of Naya, a hamlet under Pingla (116 kms from Kolkata) in West Midnapore district of Bengal have been busy for months creating the artwork. The village in known for their painted narrative scrolls (Pata). From traditional stories to even social issues had been highlighted through the rural art form. This is the first instance that the art form will be used for poll campaign.
The scroll and the accompanying song recorded in Hindi had been sent to Akhilesh. Samajwadi party leaders placed an order in October last year.
“This is the first time. I was given details of the life and development works of Akhilesh Yabav. Based on which, I had painted the scroll and the song was composed. I composed and sang the song which would go with the painting. It was recorded in Hindi,” said Chitrakar speaking with HT . The song was composed in Bengali and then translated to Hindi.
In the scroll, the life of Akhilesh Yadav, his works as chief minister of UP including the ongoing work of Metro Rail in Lucknow, bicycles and laptops for students and other projects had been highlighted.
According to sources, team Akhilesh had heard about the colourful art form and wanted to use it in the campaign. Samajwadi Party leaders contacted Mrinal Mandal, another artist in Bengal last year, who got in touch with Chitrakar.
“I have handed over the scroll and recorded singing with the scroll to Akhilesh and he had appreciated the work. The recorded version of the ‘Patachitra’ will be played in the campaign for his party”, Mrinal Mandal told Hindustan Times.
“As the ‘Patuas’ are painter, lyricists, singer and performer, and they sing as they unfurl the painting scroll, it will attract and connect with the people of Uttar Pradesh,” Mandal added.
Apart from making traditional ‘Patachitra’, the artisans also had made scrolls and composed songs highlighting incidents and issues like Tsunami, 9/11 attack in America. They participate in awareness campaigns on AIDS and HIV, apart from message on secularism on behalf of Bengal government and NGOs.