Controversy Erupts Over Selection Of New Artistes For Bargarh Dhanu Yatra

Bargarh: Ahead of the commencement of famous Bargarh Dhanu Yatra from December 31 this year, the event considered to be the world’s largest open-air theatre festival has been embroiled with a controversy over the selection process of artistes for the main characters of the play.

According to sources, the selection of the artistes for the open-air theatre is done for a period of three years. The last selection of actors was done in November 2017, which implies that one year is still left in the tenure of the artistes. But, the administration’s decision to rope in other actors in the lead role at the final stages of preparation for the event has raised questions.

The Western Odisha Artists Association has raised voice against the move by the administration. Members of the association on Monday met Bargarh Collector, Jyotiranjan Pradhan and submitted a memorandum to him over the issue.

“We are opposing the decision of roping in new lead performers for the jatra as it was decided in the earlier meetings that the artistes would be allowed to continue for three years. However, before the completion of the term, they are trying to replace the artistes which is gross violation of the resolution,” said association’s president Dayanidi Pradhan.

On the other, Bargarh Additional District Magistrate Mirda Toppo said that a decision regarding re-selection of the main characters of the play was taken in a meeting of sub-committee in the ADM chamber after the executive body meeting.

Sources said, the selection process for the artistes will be completed between November­ 20 and 25.