Tamasha artistes hit hard due to MCC

Anvita Srivastava
Thursday, 11 April 2019

“This is one of the main seasons for tamasha artistes but with the ongoing Model Code of Conduct, the number of shows have dropped by 50 per cent. It also affecting the earning sof tamasha artistes, who are facing a tough time due to financial crisis,” said Amar Punekar

PUNE: The months following Gudipadwa, Hindu New Year, is one of the busiest times for tamasha artistes, as they travel to the villages of Ahmednagar, Pune, Satara and Nashik for the next two months. However, due to the implementation of Model Code of Conduct (MCC), more than 50,000 tamasha artistes are facing a hard time. Several tamasha organisers are facing difficulties in getting police permissions to conduct their shows. 

“This is one of the main seasons for tamasha artistes but with the ongoing Model Code of Conduct, the number of shows have dropped by 50 per cent. It also affecting the earning sof tamasha artistes, who are facing a tough time due to financial crisis,” said Amar Punekar, President and Co-founder of Lokshahir Gafurbhai Punekar Social Foundation.

“This is the biggest loss we are facing in our profession, worse than the drought. Recently, around 25 shows got cancelled in places like Sangamner, Phaltan taluka and Daund taluka, as we are unable to get permissions due to the ongoing Model Code of Conduct,” said Avishkar Mule, Chairman, Akhil Bhartiya Marathi Tamasha Parishad.

“These two months of April-May is the busiest season for tamasha artistes, as we have village fairs, and the troupes visit several villages. This is the time when tamasha artistes make most of the money but due to Model Code of Conduct, in order to avoid law and order situation, the police is not giving permissions. Thus, a lot of our shows are getting cancelled. Even if they are giving permission, they are giving it only for 7 pm to 10 pm and lot of villages are cancelling programmes as tamashas start only after 10 pm and they do not want to pay for only three hours,” said Raghuvir Khedekar, Founder, Akhil Bhartiya Marathi Tamasha Parishad.

“Till now, almost 50 to 60 shows have been cancelled and for tamasha artistes, cancellation of one programme equals to a loss of Rs one lakh. It is worse than drought,” added Khedekar.

“Since RR Patil’s time, tamashas have been allowed till 12 pm but due to Model Code of Conduct, we are only getting permission till 10 pm, which is affecting our business. There are places where we are not allowed to conduct any shows, as the police wants to avoid any law and order situation. Earlier, due to drought, our business was affected, as the villagers do not have enough money to come and see tamashas. Now, our shows are getting cancelled, which is impacting our earnings, as we do not have any other source of income,” said Mohit Narayangaokar, who is in the tamasha industry.

“There is no economic stability in our profession, as tamasha is a seasonal thing and there are not enough funds provided from the government for our maintenance. Thus, it is a huge jolt for us, as it is the time when we make most of the money so that we can survive for the entire year,” said Narayangaokar. 

Meanwhile, police officials said that due to election period, they don’t want to take any risk as law and order issue can take place. “We are already busy with bandobast for elections. Most of these shows happen at night and the issue of law and order problem is always there,” said a senior official from Pune rural (under whose jurisdiction Daund comes).

Satara SP Tejaswi Satpute said, “There is no specific instructions from my side. In the backdrop of Model Code of Conduct, due to inability to provide bandobast, they might have denied permission to avoid any law and order situation.”

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