Gandharva people shadowed due to modern technology
The people from this singing community say that their traditional profession has fallen victim to modernism as people no longer like to listen to their music and recitations of old fables and lore nor they have time for this.
Gandharva people also say that they are now looked down upon and now they can no longer afford to eke out a living practicing their traditional profession.
“Our profession was respected until about 20 years back. People would give us grains and cash when we went from village to village singing with the accompaniment of the Sarangi music. Now people look down upon us and the state too has neglected us,” lamented one Ganesh Gandharva, a local of the Ganesh Tol, a predominatly Gandharva settlement in the district.
He said only 12-15 people from this Gandharva settlement with a population of 400 are carrying on with their traditional profession.The Gandharvas at Ganesh Tol say that their ancestors migrated here from Hiulcha of Salyan district.
Not only here, the Gandharvas in their ancestral place, Hiulcha, have also started abandoning their traditional profession. The elder members of this community are worried that they might lose their culture and customs one day if the youngsters from their community and the state do not take steps to preserve their tradition.
Gandharvas, since time immemorial, have been recognised as the musician caste of Nepalese society. Long before television and radio came into existence, these people would travel around the villages playing music and spreading news, much in common to Europe’s wandering minstrels.