Poor financial status irks folk artistes

Poor financial status irks folk artistes

Folk artistes who participated in an interaction programme at Maneyangala, lamented their despicable conditions and urged the government to initiate schemes for their welfare, here on Wednesday.

Speaking at the programme, organised jointly by the Department of Kannada and Culture and Kannada Janapada Academy, Bannur Kempamma, award winning ‘sobane’ artist said that the honorarium provided by the government was not sufficient to make ends meet. “We are artistes with self-respect and we don’t sing for money. Where should the senior artistes go? The honorarium of Rs 1,000 is insufficient,” she complained.

Mahesh, a ‘veeragaase’ artist said that the menace of middlemen was rampant even at government programmes, robbing them of their livelihood. He demanded the Kannada and Culture Department to curb this menace.

Mahadevaiah, a ‘nandi-dwaja’ artist was critical of Folk University of Karnataka for ignoring folk artistes of the State. “Despite being a dedicated varsity for folk art, not once has the varsity invited any artistes to perform or give demonstrations regarding the same. The varsity has ignored folk artistes completely,” he said.

The artistes demanded that the State government must increase the monthly honorarium to Rs 2,000 in order to encourage artists of the fast fading folk tradition. The government must reduce the minimum age of honorarium from 58 to 50. It also must take steps to pay the fees for folk artistes, within 15 days of the performance, were among the demands put forth.

Lack of forums

Earlier, folk scholar Krishnamurthy Hunarur said that people from across the world were ready to enjoy folk art forms of the region, if an appropriate forum was provided to them to display the same. Folk artistes must also experiment and make transformations, without changing the basics, he said.

He said that inferiority complex about folk art forms among the people of the region should go, which can be acheived only by publicising the essence of these art forms among the public.

“While the conventional forms of literature of the past was based on the lives of kings and queens, folk art highlighted the conflicts of the common man. With respect to that, folk art is the art of the soil,” he said.

Moreover, folk literature has spoken extensively on equality, which the contemporary society is striving from eons to achieve, he added.

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