Bhubaneswar, Feb 23: Even as the “fast unto death” agitation being staged by Jatra (Open pendal theatre) artistes entered second day on Tuesday, anybody from the State Government was yet to approach them to listen to their two demands, “Jatra Mancha Pherai Dia” (Return us Jatra Pendal) and “Give permission to hold Jatra with participation of 2,000 spectators”
Meanwhile, artistes expressed strong resentments over the “callous” attitude of the State Government in fulfilling their demands and ensuring the sole source of income to them. The artistes have even threatened to take to the streets in nook and corner of the State.
“Mines scam of crores of rupees has occurred. But the State Government is providing rice to people at Rs 1 per kg to show its love for the poor. It is all politics going on in the State. The Chief Minister still says he is on right path and king of Odisha. He doesn’t know we all are Ranees (queens). When we will wake up, everything will be below par,” said eminent Jatra artiste in a poetic expression in Odia participating in the Mahapanchayat programme of the Argus News.
Another senior artiste said, “The Government’s ears have been blocked with dirt of illegalities. As its callous attitude has blocked livelihoods, artistes will be forced to take to streets and approach people against the Government.”
A woman artiste, in a choked voice, said she has been forced to open a tea stall as her original source of income has been stopped by the Government. “The Government should feel ashamed that women artistes are selling tea and fruits now,” said she.
Meanwhile, the issue was also raised in the State Assembly. “Jollywood artists have launched a fast unto death dharna in front of the Assembly. Their sole source of income has been stopped. While cenma halls, hotels and meetings are being allowed, why Jatra parties will not be allowed with participation of 2,000 spectators,” wanted to know Tara Prasad Bahinipati of Congress.
He demanded that the Government allow staging of Jatras without delay.