Tableaux during Jamboo Savari becoming redundant, feel experts

Tableaux during Jamboo Savari becoming redundant, feel experts

Questions are being raised about the utility and relevance of the tableaux in the Jamboo Savari procession during Mysuru Dasara.

The grand finale includes many folk art troupes and tableaux of various districts and government agencies, going in the procession.

“The audience is made up of three categories of people the Jamboo Savari — devotees, tourists and mischief mongers. Devotees are a majority and they come from the old Mysuru region. Among tourists, there are people from other states, and foreigners.

Mischief mongers are usually from Mysuru and neighbouring places and also include migrant workers from other states. I do not know who the tableaux are aimed at,” says Shalva Pille Iyengar, a religious and cultural commentator and a historian.

Iyengar says that devotees start dispersing soon after they get a glimpse of the Goddess Chamundeshwari in the golden howdah. By the time the tourists get a vantage point, the procession would have passed, he says. They too start dispersing. With the crowd thinning, mischief mongers also start leaving,” says Iyengar, questioning the utility of the tableaux.

He said, when the erstwhile kings of Mysuru, the Wadiyars, used to lead the Jamboo Savari on Vijayadashami, following the religious Navaratri, it was a show of might and prosperity of the ruler. “The procession got the religious touch only after Dasara became a government event, when the idol of Chamundeshwari was being placed inside the golden howdah,” he points out.

Bhargavi D Hemmige, an Assistant Professor in Communication, says, when mass media was traditional or even non-existent, such tableaux would have served the purpose of conveying  a message to the people or in giving publicity to government schemes. “Now, it is the age of information and knowledge explosion. People are bombarded with information from all media, including the new media like smartphones,” she says, adding that the tableaux have little relevance today.

B S Dinesh, an entrepreneur, says, since the government took over the onus of conducting the Dasara, crores of rupees have been spent on tableaux that convey messages against smoking, alcohol, etc. “So, by now, our whole society should have been reformed. Dasara or Jamboo Savari is a celebration, when people put up with all sorts of inconvenience, just to be there. Is it the time to give messages? In my opinion, Jamboo Savari should be a carnival, which should mirror our arts and culture. The money spent on the tableaux will only end up in promoting more corruption,” he opines.

Zilla Panchayat Chief Executive Officer P Shivashankar said, this year, besides tableaux from 30 ZPs, around 10 departments will be roped in to display their tableaux. “Last year, the tableau of Mysuru ZP had cost Rs 6.5 lakh. This year, the cost would go up marginally,” he said.

The ZP CEO, who is also the deputy special officer of the tableaux sub-committee of the Dasara Utsav Executive Committee, has issued instructions that 10-wheel lorries be used for the tableaux for uniformity.

Chandrika Sudhir, an eco activist, says, “If the Dasara committee does away with 40 such lorries, that burn diesel by moving in the second or third gear for 5 km, it will be a great service to the nature,” pointing out that the theme for this year is ‘Green Dasara’.

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