Bargarh Dhanu Jatra Embroiled In Controversy Over ‘Kansa’ Role

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Baragarh: The decision of the Artistes Coordination Committee to select a new ‘Kansa’ for this year Dhanu Jatra in Bargarh has kicked off a controversy.

In practice, the artiste selected for the role plays the character for three consecutive years.

Bhubaneswar Pradhan has been donning the part for two years after an audition in 2017. However, the committee has put up an ad for selecting artistes, including that for the role of Kansa, media reports said.

Artists’ associations and organisations have strongly opposed this move. They have also taken up the matter with the district Collector.

This year, the world famous open air theatre will be held in Bargarh from December 31 to January 10.

According to sources, the committee had earlier announced that it would conduct auditions for selection of other artistes since it was done about five years ago. However, it was mum over whether the selection procedure would include ‘King Kansa’.

The decision to conduct audition for Kansa role has not gone down well with the people with many demanding that the advertisement for the same be cancelled.

A final decision in this regard will be taken by November 16, the sources said, adding that the selection procedure is expected to be completed by November 20.

Dhanu Jatra is believed to have started after Independence to celebrate the fall of British imperialism. The premise of the festival is to show the defeat of evil over good. The cultural extravaganza is a visual delight with different episodes being depicted frame by frame, beginning with wedding of Kansa’s sister Devaki with Basudev followed by his accession to throne, dethroning his father Ugrasen and concludes with the death of the demon king at the hands of his nephew Lord Krishna.

During those 11 days, Bargarh turns into Mathura and Ambapali situated across the Jeera river becomes Gopapur. This river dividing the two towns assumes the role of the Yamuna.

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