Mughal Tamasha (TH)

Context: Each year, Bhadrak in Odisha sees a 250-year-old folk theatre called Mogal Tamasha bring Hindus and Muslims together on stage and in life

  • Mogal Tamasha was first established to maintain communal harmony and it has survived only in this Bhadrak.
  • This town always played a big role in Odisha’s history. Bhadrak-Strategically located on the erstwhile Grand Trunk Road that passes via Jajpur, Cuttack and Bhubaneswar, connecting Kolkata with Puri, it has held an important position in the administrative, military, commercial, religious and cultural affairs of the State.
  • Odisha was Mughal territory for nearly 200 years until the Marathas took over in 1751.
  • Poet Bansi Ballav was adept in six languages —and the Tamashas he scripted and directed were multi-lingual.
  • Although he wrote a large number of Tamashas, just seven scripts have survived, of which only Mogal Tamasha is staged now.


Folk drama of Odisha

  • Types of folk drama of Orissa include Suanga, Leela, Mughal Tamasha, Jatra,
  • Mughal Tamasha
  • The word “Tamasha” is originally from Persian, meaning a show or theatrical entertainment of some kind.
  • It is said that Late Bansiballav Goswami had initiated the Mughal Tamasha in 1728 A.D. The Mughal Tamasha is divided into two parts, i.e., ‘Badasahi’ and ‘Soudagari’ Tamasha.  
  • Nowadays only the Badasahi Mughal Tamasha script is available and being staged. The dialogue is in a hybrid language of Oriya mixed with Urdu language and Persian.
  • Mughal Tamasha is a pure interpretation of the then governance of Mughal and Maratha. It is unique way of satire to the ministers. It emphasises atrocities of rulers on the people and highlights corruption prevalent during that era. Tamasha gives a vivid picture of the social, political and religious condition during the Mughal period.
  • The Mughal, Maratha officers were very much corrupt and addicted to various intoxicants by which they failed to execute their due duties. Their torture and maladministration threat the higher human values which causes anarchy and discontent
  • Mughal Tamasha consists of Urdu, Hindi, Odia and Bengali languages.

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