Kartik Naach facing shortage of funds

Lalitpur, October 26:

Organisers of the eight-day-long traditional Kartik Naach, a traditional dance drama performed in the month of Kartik, are finding it difficult to give continuity to the drama due to lack of funds. The drama of Hindu gods, goddesses and folk characters will be staged at the Patan Durbar Square from tomorrow evening.

The Department of Archaeology, Lalitpur Sub-Metropolitan City, Patan Museum and Lalitpur Chamber of Commerce and Industries give a paltry sum of approximately Rs 56,000 for organising the event, Hari Man Shrestha, president of the Kartik Naach Management Committee (KNMC), said today.

“The funds cannot cover expenses of the event and remunerations for the artistes. Thirty-four dancers have been trained for three months and they only get remuneration ranging from Rs 50 to Rs 200 only for eight days,” said Shrestha, adding: “Despite the

inadequate budget, the team is committed to giving continuity to the 300-year old tradition.”

Considering the dance as a national cultural heritage, we have been utilising time and energy of the artists without giving them adequate remuneration. However, it would be difficult for us to give continuity to the event if the government or other organisations do not pledge us renewed support.

History has it that a 17th century King, Siddhi Narsingh Malla, started the eight-day event, while his descendants King Shree Niwas Malla and King Yog Narendra Malla turned it into a month-long festival.

The first three days of the Kartik Naach dwell on Baa tha, a cunning folk character and his mischief. Artistes perform dances of Hindu gods and goddesses, namely Krishna, Mahadev, Kumari, Mahalaxmi and Bairav on the fourth and fifth day. The ceremony concludes with the performance of Barah dance and Narsingh dance. The artists performing during the last two days of the event must follow strict rules.