Parshuram Komaji Khune – ‘Dada Kondke’ of Zadipatti Theatre

Parshuram Komaji Khune is a senior theatre activist and social educator from the state of Maharashtra. This artist is popularly known as ‘Dada Kondke’ of zadipatti theatre in Maharashtra, after the legendary Marathi actor and producer. He also served as sarpanch for many years, and worked towards eradicating social evils. He was honoured with Padma Shri in 2023 for his overall contributions to this field.

Some of his popular performances include – ‘Me Baiko Tishna Navrayachi’, ‘Ech Paala’, ‘Lavani Bhulli Abhangala’, ‘Swargavar Swari’, ‘Lagna Nachi Bedi’, ‘Ek Nar Tin Bejaar’, ‘Baiko Ka Matoon Geli’, ‘Singacha Chaava’, ‘Nath Ha Maja’ and ‘Mary’s Ghosts’. He also played father-in-law role in the first ever zadipatti movie, ‘Daughter-in-law Patlinbai’. His presence for the film brought a big crowd to theatres too.

‘Dada Kondke’ of zadipatti theatre in Maharashtra

Zadipatti is a form of theatre practised only in Vidarbha region of Maharashtra during harvest season, starting during Dilwali season & continuing till March. This art form doesn’t need theatres and is practised in rural areas. The term ‘Zadipatti’ derives its name from the local name Zadi for rice and practised in Maharashtra’s eastern region inhabited by tribes like Gond, Korfu and Pardhi.

Parshuram Komaji Khune has been practicing this art, known as Zadipatti Rangbhumi, for the last 50 years. Over the years he has given life to 800 roles in more than 5,000 plays. They belong to mythological, religious and emotional genres, which a touch of social dramas. He is popular for mastering comic roles, for which he is called, ‘Dada Kondke’.

Parshuram Komaji Khune is a social activist too

He served as sarpanch of Gurnuli village in Kurkheda for long 15 years, and deputy sarpanch for 5 years. He also served as the president of Zadipatti Kala Manch for a decade. As a social activist, he worked for deaddiction, hygiene, eradicating superstitions too. By getting Gadchiroli youth engaged in this art form, Parshuram succeeded in bringing them into the mainstream and it also worked as a sort of rehabilitation process, as many of them were under naxalite influence also.

He used the folk theatre to educate rural areas and create awareness among people over many decades. He has been honoured with many awards including Sunil Bhavsar Memorial Award in 1992, Kala Gaurav Award 1995 from Shyam Rao Bapu Pratishthan, and most recently, fourth highest civilian honour Padma Shri in 2023. He succeeded as an agriculturalist too, and government of Maharashtra has honoured him with ‘Shetinishtha Shetkari Puraskar’.


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A freelance writer and blogger by profession since October 2011, interested in writing over a wide range of topics. Hope you enjoy my writings. I belong to one of the beautiful places of the world, Kerala, nicknamed as 'God's own country'.

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