MANGALURU: This one failed to stick. A new TV commercial of Fevicol, featuring Yakshagana — the traditional, popular art form from the coastal region, has created a storm in social media circuits. Terming it ‘disrespectful’ and ‘poor portrayal of the tradition’, artistes and fans of Yakshagana have demanded an apology from the company and withdrawal of the commercial.
The ad shows Yakshagana artistes and Bhagavatas, who narrate the story, involved in a scuffle on the stage after the king’s throne breaks when he sits on it. The protest against the ad started with Mangaluru South MLA Vedavyas Kamath putting up a Facebook post with #apologize. He said, “Yakshagana is a centuries-old tradition of Tulunad. Your Company mocking it is distasteful. It is our Culture and we give it PRIME respect. The AD has to be removed and your company should apologize for disrespecting Yakshagana. Do check on the internet on how we treat the amazing dance form.”
M Devanand Bhat, founder of Sri Yakshagana Mitrakala Mandali said, “The ad affects people’s belief and devotion in the art form. Yakshagana is not just entertainment, but also a form of worship. People running around on the stage with Chande and Maddale is not right.”
Bhat is also not happy with Yakshagana being featured in films, Navarathri festivities and Republic Day parades. “In such shows, artistes in full costume (vesha) and gejje (anklet) are seen wearing footwear. Many think such events give exposure to the art form. But why do we need such exposure at the cost of sanctity,” he asked. Yakshagana Bhagavata Patla Sathish Shetty, however, welcomed the ad, but said showing disrespect to the art is not acceptable.