Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Forget the king, make a MONUMENT | Hard News

  • tags: no_tag

    • As Shivaji - the monument - became grander, the condition of his companions, the shahirs, deteriorated. Make no mistake - shahirs don't sing only about Shivaji; he's just one of the subjects. But he's the one they're very attached to. The tradition of shahiri received a boost during and after Shivaji's reign, so the innate connection between the two cannot be negated.

      And yet, consecutive state governments have failed to assist shahirs in a way that could sustain them. The present government plans to spend Rs 350 crore erecting a monument for Shivaji but gives merely Rs 500-1,000 as financial assistance to shahirs. One might wonder how a shahir, who is past 70, is expected to sustain himself on this paltry amount.

    • Now the same government is back in power. Over a month into its term, and yet, no mention has been made of the proposed Shivaji statue, which was a key election issue. While the government waits to lobby with the Centre for clearance, and then, perhaps, initiate work on the monument so that it remains a fresh election issue five years down the line, it might be a good idea to get some shahirs to sing powadas about Shivaji on the other coast of Mumbai. A Shivaji statue already stands tall behind the Gateway of India, and getting shahirs to perform there will not only mean enabling a means of sustenance for them, but also enable Shivaji, the monument, relate to people.

Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links are here.