‘We are ready to keep Tamasha alive, provided we get help’ says Sangeetachi Rani
For 65-year-old Mangala Bansode of Loknatya Tamasha Mandal, life revolves around her 150-member troupe. The performer, popularly known as ‘Sangeetachi Rani’, was visibly upset during a freewheeling chat in the city on Saturday. On the state of affairs in Tamasha and similar performing arts, Mangala shared, “Women in particular need to come out in our support. In all these years, I have seen that women only degrade us and hence society looks down us. It is funny how everyone is okay about watching television shows that ‘bitch’ about relatives, advertisements that have skimpily clad women and the likes. However, you have a problem when women are dressing up and dancing. How does this make sense?”
Mangala added that during Tamasha shows in rural areas, the biggest issue they face is the lack of authority or police protection. “We have random people claiming they are politicians or bigwigs and they forcefully enter the show without paying for tickets. When questioned, they beat up our ticket sellers or people at the gates. It is very saddening that an art form is left to fend for itself.”
She shared that like her, there are just a few more left who are working towards keeping Tamasha alive. “Today, sangeet parties, Jalsas and similar forms of dance and music events pass off as Tamasha. They recruit fair and good looking models and tour the world. It is sad because the real artists are suffering and not receiving remuneration or government aid.”
Mangala appealed the government to take an effort to promote ‘real’ Tamasha on the global stage. “We are ready to show the world what true Tamasha is and how it is a traditional art,” she said.
“Till today, I have been working towards the betterment of people associated with the art. I want people to consider us as artists and nominate us for awards too. A little encouragement will go a long way and help keep the art form alive.We are ready to keep this art alive, provided we get help”