Three steps to a more dignified Dasara

E R RAMACHANDRAN writes: Now that it’s almost zero hour for the Dasara cultural festivals, it’s worth remembering some points, which will go a long way in making it a success.

The Government, the various committees, sub-committees etc have put in tremendous efforts despite a late start. Artistes from all over the State and the country have been invited to perform at over half-a-dozen places at a time.

The festival is a culmination of religious, spiritual and cultural confluence depicting the ethos of Karnataka and hence rightly called the Naada Habba. It is also a showcase for outsiders, especially foreigners, as Mysore rightly holds the mantle of tourism in the State. Hence it is important that there is dignity in entertainment and grace in the conduct of the various shows.

Following are some of the points which authorities should consider and try to implement to achieve the desired result.

# In the main Palace premise, which showcases the cultural programmes, almost always there is utter confusion, unmitigated chaos during the entire show. The show invariably starts with a very large number of people crowding the dais, each vying with the other to praise the Government in power, a sub–committee member praising rest of his committee members for the favour and finally Goddess Chamundi, in that order! This not only tests the patience of public and the artiste, but is also an unabashed exhibition of mixture of backslapping camaraderie and slavery in public.

They should adopt a crisp introduction cutting out all frills and, start and finish the programme by the clock. A crash course with media event managers like Wizcraft would be ideal as to how to manage time and how to cut unwanted bureaucracy to size.

Once the programme starts, invariably, the latecomers who occupy the front seats make their august presence, expecting the performers to salute them and enter with an assumed and exaggerated sense of self-importance and expecting, if possible, the artiste to repeat the song or dance whatever they had missed!

These habitual latecomers should not be allowed to the front seats but shown their place politely and firmly somewhere near the back. Only by doing this, we can respect art and the artistes.

# One of the major Indian mindset is, no function, play, music, dance or anything for that matter, can take place without a slice of eating thrown in between! Hence we will find vendors hailing their wares such as ‘Sippe Kadale kai’, ‘ Kharada Puri’, ‘Menasina Kai Bhajji’, ‘Pakoda!’ moving around freely right up to the dais.

During a Mohana Aalapana by Balamuralikrishna, you can find a serious bargaining for the eatables converting the place to a Sunday santhe. Sometimes our front bencher-dignitary hails the vendor for a session in bargaining and supply!

By all means, there should be fun and eating is one of the components. Hence authorities should make place for these in the rear in the lawns where a large number listen and watch the show on the CCTV. Here, they can make arrangements for eating to one’s heart content.

# Lastly, do not allow politicians to turn the stage in to a mockery of a show. Couple of years back, one saw a childish MLA rendering ‘Naayi mari Naayi mari thindi Beke’ which was a request from the then Chief Minister. Apart from reducing the show to buffoonery, the CM and his troupe made the main artistes Padma Subramayam and her niece to wait for quite sometime. One must also compliment the dancers who did not want to disappoint the assembled crowd who had braved the rain and danced on an improptu uneven surface earning the gratitude of the public.

No buffoonery please, even if it makes you a faithful dog as in HMV!