Dr. Madan Meena

Madan Meena is a visual artist and researcher. He has worked extensively with artists and craftspersons from local communities in Rajasthan. His doctoral dissertation from University of Rajasthan was on the subject 'Art of the Meena Tribe'. He continues to work as a researcher with the women of the Meena tribe and has documented and exhibited their Mandana wall paintings. He has published two books on the subject, 'Joy of Creativity' and 'Nurturing Walls'. As a curator, he has designed an exhibition on brooms for the ‘Arna Jharna: The Desert Museum of Rajasthan’ of Rupayan Sansthan in Jodhpur. He has been regularly recording oral traditions among the Gurjar, Meena, Jogi, Mali, Merati and Jat communities. Madan has received a grant from Cambridge University under the World Oral Literature Project to document Tejaji Ballad sung in south-eastern Rajasthan. His interest in languages has led him to start his work on the secret language of the nomadic and de-notified tribes. For this he received fellowship from the Firebird Foundation for Anthropological Research, USA. As a state coordinator for Bhasha Research and Publication Centre, Baroda, he edited the Hindi and English volumes of Rajasthani languages under the People’s Linguistic Survey of India project. Madan has received Senior Research Fellowship from CCRT-Department of Culture, to extend his work in folklore studies in Marwar region. He is an Executive Member of Kota Heritage Society. As a visiting faculty he teaches traditional crafts at the Indian Institute of Crafts and Design-Jaipur. He currently works and lives in Kota-Rajasthan.

Jogi a semi-nomadic community from north India, especially Rajasthan, is a sub-group of the Kalbelia community, which is listed by UNESCO under the representative list of Intangible Cultural Heritage. Jogis worship Shiva and they draw their lineage from him. Their oral repertoire has references to Shiva-Parbati’s life. For example, they are known for singing the illustrative ballad about the marriage ceremony of Shiv-Parbati (called Shiv-Parbati ka byawala). Apart from this they sing in memory of their revered saints like Baba Guru Gorakhnath, Baba Jalandarnath, and heroic figures like Raja Gopichand, Raja Bharthari, Ramdev Pir, etc. Jogis are professional musicians and are patronized by the local rural communities who invite them during the auspicious Hindu months for night jagrans (night awakenings). This module records one of the important ballad about the life of Raja Bharthari sung by the Jogi musicians.