Father Of Indian Circus Vishnupant Chatre, also known as Vishnupant Chatre, is the father of Indian Circus. Chatre, who was born in Ankalkhop (Maharashtra), began his career as a riding master and stable keeper. He was transformed when he saw a Royal Italian Circus performance in Bombay. Chatre was challenged by the statement made by Giuseppe Chiarini that India wasn’t ready to have its very own Circus. In just three months, Chatre performed the same acts Chiarini had, and the Great Indian Circus was born in 1880.
- Chatre’s contribution to the Indian Circus was groundbreaking. He founded India’s first Circus and took it across the country, even overseas.
- His Circus was a showcase for Indian talent, and it contributed to the popularity of circuses in India.
- Chatre’s impact was felt well beyond his life. He inspired a generation of performers and entrepreneurs in the Indian circus industry.
- The General Awareness section in competitive exams such as UPSC and Bank Exams may ask questions about Fathers from Various Fields.
His pioneering efforts to establish and popularize the Circus in India left a lasting mark on the cultural landscape of the country. Find out in this article who the father of the Indian Circus is and how his contributions influenced the history of the Circus in India.
Why is Vishnupant Chatre Known as the Father of Indian Circus?
Vishnupant Chatre has been hailed as the father of Indian Circus. Chatre began as a riding master and stable keeper. He was transformed when he saw a Royal Italian Circus performance in Bombay. Chatre was challenged by the statement made by Giuseppe Chiarini that India wasn’t ready to have its very own Circus. In just three months, Chatre performed the same acts Chiarini had, and the Great Indian Circus was born in 1880.
Chatre’s contribution to the Indian Circus was groundbreaking. Not only did he find the first Indian Circus, but he also toured the company extensively across India and even overseas. His Circus was a showcase for Indian talent, and it helped popularize the Circus in India. Chatre’s impact lasted well beyond his life. He inspired a generation of performers and entrepreneurs in the Indian circus industry.
His pioneering efforts to establish and popularize the Circus in India left an indelible impression on the cultural landscape of the country. Vishnupant Chatre, the father of the Indian Circus, is rightfully regarded as such because of his monumental contributions and enduring legacy.
Evolution of Indian Circus
The Circus has its roots in India, but the modern Circus we know today was only introduced in the 19th Century. Here are some highlights about the history and culture of Indian circuses.
- Vishnupant Chatre was the father of the Indian Circus, and he founded the Great Indian Circus. The Royal Italian Circus, led by Giuseppe Chiarini in Bombay, inspired him to start his venture.
- Chatre, challenged by Chiarini’s claim that India wasn’t ready for its Circus, took it upon himself to prove the contrary. Chatre’s Circus introduced India to acrobatics and daring acts on a large scale. His contributions laid the groundwork for the Indian Circus.
- The Great Indian Circus was a circus that toured across India and even overseas. It laid the foundations for the industry and popularized it as an entertainment form.
- The Indian Circus continued to evolve after Chatre. In 1887, Priyanath BOSE founded the Great Bengal Circus.
- Bose’s Circus was known for its intricate performances, often including exotic animals and complex acrobatics. His contributions helped popularize this art form in eastern India. Bose played a major role in diversifying circus repertoires and elevating circuses as legitimate forms of entertainment.
- In the early 20th Century, the circus industry expanded further in India. This was especially true in Kerala. The Malabar Grand Circus was inaugurated in Kerala in 1904 and marked the expansion of the Circus into the southern part of India.
Vishnupant Chatre’s meeting with Keeleri Kinhikannan on the Malabar Coast in Tellicherry was also a pivotal event in the history of the Indian circus. Kunhikannan was a martial arts and gymnastics instructor who played a key role in the development of the Indian Circus. Kunhikannan, a gymnastics and martial arts instructor, began teaching his expertise to acrobats in his academy at Chatre’s request. In 1901, he founded a circus school in Chirakkara (Kerala), which later became the epicenter of India’s circus revolution.
Kunhikannan had a profound impact on his students. Pariyali Kanan, one of Kunhikannan’s students, went on to found the Grand Malabar Circus in 1904. Many of Kunhikannan’s students also established their own circus companies. These included the Whiteway Circus in 1922, the Great Ramayan Circus in 24, and The Great Lion Circus. Kerala’s flourishing circus culture is the reason it was nicknamed the “Cradle of Indian Circus.” Keeleri K Kunhikannan left a legacy that extended far beyond India, with acrobats who trained at his academy achieving national and international fame. Kannan Bombayo was a graduate of Kunhikannan’s institution, graduating in 1910. He showcased his rope dancing abilities with European and American Circuses. M. K. Raman, Kunhikannan’s disciple who died in 1939, carried on his legacy. The Kerala government, in recognition of Kunhikannan’s contributions, established the Circus Academy at Thalassery in 2010. This was a fitting tribute to the man who is known as the Father of Kerala Circus.
The Decline of Indian Circus
After independence, the Indian Circus faced many challenges. These included a decrease in attendance and strict government regulations. In 1990, there were about 300 Indian circuses in operation. By 2017, this number had dropped to just 30. A number of factors have caused this unfortunate decline.
- The Indian circuses are plagued by a secretive culture, which is often passed down from generation to generation within selected families. This exclusivity has discouraged skilled managers from entering the business, which limits its growth potential.
- In 1997, the Indian government banned the use of wild animal entertainment. This was a severe blow to the circus industry. This ban removed a popular aspect of Circus shows that attracted crowds.
- Circuses are also restricted by stringent regulations, such as the Supreme Court ban in 2011 on the recruitment of children under 14 years old.
- The Indian government has banned the use of wild animals and child labor in circus shows since 2013. This has had a significant impact on the traditional circus model.
- Parents have also been discouraged from allowing children to choose Circus as an option for a career because of the negative perceptions they hold about the profession. It has also prevented the development of circus families, unlike the West.
The Indian Circus has adapted and remained resilient despite these obstacles, using modern elements such as technology and storytelling themes to attract new audiences. Current alternatives, such as world-class gymnastics and other forms of entertainment, have attracted the attention of the younger generations. This has further diminished the appeal of the traditional Indian Circus. To revitalize the Indian Circus, various measures should be considered. A more strict enforcement of safety laws can enhance the reputation of the Circus as a career option. The Circus can be used to promote art forms that are disappearing, which will increase its appeal to the public. The government must support circus artists and their companies. This includes retirement provisions. The Department of Sports and Youth Affairs should transfer the circus industry to the Ministry of Culture, which would help it be recognized as an art and promote its revival.
The Indian Circus today is a mix of traditional and contemporary elements. It strives to adapt to modern tastes while maintaining its rich heritage. The Indian Circus is an important part of India’s rich cultural heritage, carrying on the legacy of pioneers such as Vishnupant Chatre.
This article about the Father of Indian Circus was informative. It helped you to understand Vishnupant Chatre and why he is a prominent figure in Indian Circus. Download the Testbook app to improve your General Knowledge. Access the best learning resources and expert coaching. Take mock tests, take quizzes, and beat your competitors in government exams. exams.