Vasudevs of Maharashtra

Vasudevs of Maharashtra

India has a longstanding tradition of song, dance, music and theatre. Music was always used as a  medium for venerable purpose of worshipping the God.  Devotional songs were not only sung by a group of people called Keertanakars but also by the street singers and performers or Kavadias. In Maharashtra they are known as Vasudevs.

A traditional ‘Vasudev’ or itinerant story-teller is who usually specialises in religious tales or stories with a social cause as they sing bhajans. Vasudevs belong to a community of Krishna worshippers from Maharashtra, who for centuries have been wandering through villages and cities singing bhakti songs and surviving on alms given by the people.

Joginder Salunke dressed in his traditional attire and colourful conical cap, decorated with peacock feathers and holding chiplya visits the bylanes of Chembur singing Bhajans in marathi in the glory of Lord Krishna. 

As per him the bhajan-singing and entertaining heritage of Vasudev is many centuries old and has been passed down from generation to another verbally. From the name of the tribe and their songs, the Vasudevs worshipped Lord Krishna and sang Bhajans in his glory.

Early in the morning, Joginder starts singing in the Chembur streets persuading people to perform selfless charity and worship  Lord Krishna. As most Vasudevs are from nomadic tribe of Maharashtra, Joginder too keeps travelling from one city to another, entertaining people with traditional songs and verses.

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