Artistes apologise for hurting Mundalas' sentiments

Poornesh Acharya of the Yaksha Balaga team tendered an apology on Saturday for having hurt the sentiments of the Mundala (Scheduled Caste) community.

The public apology came close on the heels of the Dalit Sangarsha Samithi (DSS) leaders threatening to disrupt Acharya’s Tulu Yakshagana play, ‘Brahma Balandy’, being planned to be staged at Town Hall on July 20. The Dalit leaders had taken offence that a banned word had been attached to a character named Mundala.

Well-known Yakshagana artiste Sarapady Ashok Shetty clarified that the usage of the banned word was by oversight and not intentional. “Poornesh Acharya, in order, to be faithful to the original work of late Ananthram Bangady had retained the banned word. On realising his mistake, however, Acharya had destroyed thousands of handbills,” he added.

“The new handbills do not have the offensive word. Members of Yaksha Balaga also had met Dalit leaders at the Pandeshwar police station and apologised for the mistake in the presence of senior police officers. We have even made changes in the role being played by Mijar Thimmappa,” Shetty informed.

“We artistes are above caste and religion. We do not discriminate but play all roles and try to infuse life into it. Thus, I would like to tender apology to all those who have been hurt,” Acharya stressed and appealed to the media at the press conference held in Patrika Bhavan on Saturday to draw curtains on the issue.

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