Darshanam Mogulaiah, who belongs to the Dakali community, is the fifth generation artist from his family, and has been playing the indigenous instrument called Kinnera since the age of 8.

Telangana CM felicitating Mogulaiah with a bouquet and a shawl
news Art Saturday, January 29, 2022 - 14:25

Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao, on Friday, January 28, felicitated Kinnera artist Darshanam Mogulaiah, the Padma Shri award 2022 recipient from Telangana. He also announced that the government will allot a house site in Hyderabad and offer Rs 1 crore towards its construction and other expenses. Mogulaiah plays the exquisite Kinnera instrument, an indigenous string instrument made using string thread, bamboo sticks, round pumpkins, honey, wax, bull horns and mirrors.

At the felicitation, KCR said that Mogulaiah should be lauded for protecting and preserving one of the greatest folk music forms. He hailed the artist for getting the fourth highest civilian award, a statement from the Chief Minister’s Office said. The CM said that the state would take care of the artists who are reviving Telangana arts. 

Mogulaih comes from a marginalised background. He belongs to the Dakali community, recognised as Scheduled Caste. People from the Dakkali community seek alms for a living from the Madigas, also a Dalit community, by singing their praises. Learning about his poverty, the government has been providing him with a monthly honorarium of Rs 10,000.  

Mogulaiah is the only artist who can play the 12-step Kinnera, The art has been passed on by his ancestors. He is the fifth generation artist from his family. He has been playing Kinnera since the age of 8.

 Kinnera is made with a long bamboo neck and dry hollow pumpkins that work as resonators. The strings are made of animal nerves, which have now been replaced with metal. Kinnera is synonymous with Dakkalis, and the Chenchus tribe. 

Read: Telangana's last 12-step Kinnera player Mogulaiah wants govt to save dying art form

Mogulaiah recently made his singing debut in the Telugu film industry with Pawan Kalyan’s yet-to-be-released Bheemla Nayak. The song is already a chartbuster. 

Mogulaiah was first recognised by the Telangana government in 2014 with the Ugadi Puraskar award. Further acknowledging his art, the state board had incorporated a lesson in the textbooks for Class 8 students, with the name of "12 stairs Kinnera.” The lesson highlights the significance of the instrument and Mogulaiah's contribution.

The Chief Minister entrusted MLA Guvvala Balraju, the TRS district president of Nagarkurnool, with the responsibility of providing the benefits to Mogulaiah. 

Along with Mogulaiah, two other artists from Telangana – Sakinam Ramachandraiah, a singer, and G Padmaja Reddy, a Kuchipudi and Kakatiyam dancer – won the prestigious Padma Shri award.


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