More Flaws in the Commentary of Dr Uniyal about Garhwali Folk Dramas
This is in continuation of my reaction for the commentary of Dr Rajeshwar Uniyal on Garhwali Folk Dramas published in special issue of Hamari Chitthi a Garhwali language magazine (January-March,2009,page25-27).
Uniyal writes about the development of folk dramas , “ The folk dramas developed specially in medieval era (Madhya yug) or in Mughal era. Even in medieval era, the folk dramas spreads in the time of Bhakti kal. Though , Mahakavi Kali Das created Abhigyan Shankutalam before 2000 years back but thre is no mention of staging of play in Mahabharata , Rmayan and Puran.There was dance art in Indra’s conferences but not drama. There was creation of drama but there was no stage playing.”
This author never experienced such blunder by a learned critics in reviewing an art (Folk Drama) which is being discussed by researchers universally for many centuries . The author wants to provide some prove that Dr Rajeshwar Uniyal should review his this article again and correct his misconception:
1- There is mention or suggestion of drama or staging play in the dialogues between Yam and Yami in Vedas (1).
2- Mahabharata is created before five thousand years back or much before Bharat’s Natya Shashtra , Ramayan of Balmiki and Puran. Puran are created after first AD. However there is mention of words ‘pathak’ and ‘dharak’ in Mahabharata and ramayan and those are the related words of Dramas and Mahabharata mentioned about the word ‘Lok’ too:
Agyan tmirandhasya lokasya tu vichestatah
The word ‘pandhak (eunuch) is mentioned in Mahabharata (Virat Parva-2/25 ) and Brihlinna (mhamanav) and both words suggest that there was custom of staging playas or mimicry before Mahabharata was created .
2- The creation of Bharat ‘s Natya Shashtra is supposed to be before 2500 years back. It is an universal fact that the sophisticated dramas (mentioned in Bharat’s Natya Shasta) cannot take shape until there is culture of folk dramas. This universal fact proves that the concept of folk dramas was much before Bharat created Natya Shashtra.
There is mention of Lok Natya (folk Drama ) in Bharat’s Natya Shashtra :
Lok dharmi bhavetwanya Natyadharmi tathapara
Svabhao lokdharmi tu bhibhavo natyamev hi ( bharat natya Shashtra, 21/203)
Bharat accepted the role of folk dramas in development of sophisticated dramas (Natya ) and stated the characteristics of Lok Natya :
Swabhavopagatam shudham tu vikritam tatha
Lok varta kriyopetamang leela vivrtajam -13/71
Swabhavobhinayottam nana stripurushashrayam
Yadrishya bhave natyam lokdharmi tu sa smrita: 13/72
3- Dr Shri Ram Sharma (1980) , Dr Shankar Lal Yadav and Dr Som Nath Gupt proved that it is wrong to misconceptualize that the folk dramas were developed at the time of Bhakti period.
4- From Garhwal point of view, there was no Moghal period or effects of Moghals that our folk dramas were destroyed. and Bhakti period was responsible for developing folk dramas
6- Dr Shiva Nand Nautiyal (1981) one of the prominent experts on folk literature of Garhwali writes about Duda Nrityageet (folk dance-Song) , “ In fact, Duda is not a dance but is the performances of two or more singers. Tuda or Tude is the synonym of Duda and this style is no more now in Garhwal. This folk song has specialty that it is in the form of questions and answers and later on it transformed into poetical drama performance .Nautiyal says that Duda is another style of Bajuband Geet of Garhwal, which is equivalent to Nyoli of Kumaun. Bajuband geet are the primitive form of Garhwali folk song (Ramola, 1989). The statements with full of researches of Shiva Nand Nautiyal and Mal Chand Ralso support and prove that Garhwali folk songs had been there before medieval era.
7-Garhwal has a tradition of a class (jati) called Badi and thus the custom of folk dramas in Garhwal was there before Vedic time .
Now it is clear that Dr Rajeshwar Uniyal without any thorough research mentioned that folk dramas were developed in Bhakti Kal .
Same way Rajeshwar’s saying that Ramayan is the initiating point for Garhwali drama is totally baseless and without any justifying proof. The folk dramas have relation with folk lore and folk songs but Garhwali folk songs or Jagar have least mention of Ramleela .
Dr Rajeshwar raised a question about who are the Badis --whether they Bheel/kirat etc. even Badis are kirat or Bheel it proves that the custom of Badi’s dramas was before Ajya Pal Panwar became the king of modern Garhwal .by this logic, means the customs of Badis are there before one thousand years in Garhwal .
Conclusion is that dr Rajeshwar Uniyal wrote the commentary on Garhwali folk dramas without any thinking, without any thorough research and did not apply any logic too
1- Sharma , Shri ram, 1970, Lok Sahitya sidhant aur Prayog, Page-135-137
2-Yadav , Dr Shankar Lal, hariyana Pradesh ka lok Sahitya, page-382
3-Gupt, Dr Som Nath, Hindi Natak-Sahitya ka Itihas, page-16
Copyright@ Bhishma Kukreti, Mumbai, 2009
4- Nautiya, Shiva Nand, 1981, Garhwal ke Nritya-Geet,pages-274-280
5-Ramola, Malchand, Bajuband-Kavya, 1989, page, Bhumika-3