Ali Mohamad Bhagat

Shri Ali Mohammad Bhagat was born on 7 March 1930 into a family of traditional theatre artists. His home was in the village of Arharna in Anantnag district of Jammu & Kashmir. His father was a famous performer of Bhand Pather, mostly playing the role of a clown, and hence was affectionately addressed as Mohammad Maskhar.
In 1948 Shri Bhagat formed a troupe of Bhand Pather performers, and started presenting performances at festivals, shrines, marriages and public rallies. In 1961 he established the Kashmir Bagath Theatre Akingam with support from Moti Lal Kemmu, the noted theatre personality. With this group, Shri Bhagat produced a number of popular Bhand Pather plays such as Sone Watanin, Pozeti Apoz, Yati Chu Banwun, Takdeer, Kan-Scheh Aka Nandun, Parchun Tan Gugal, Shikar Gah, Bata Pather, Raza Pather and Hawas. To promote the traditional theatre of Kashmir, he participated in seminars and workshops all over the country. He was honoured by several institutions including the Culture Academy of Jammu and Kashmir.
To our deep regret, Shri Ali Mohamad Bhagat passed away on 1 March 2012 working till the end for the cause of Bhand Pather. He is posthumously conferred the Sangeet Natak Akademi Tagore Award for his contribution to the Bhand Pather theatre of Kashmir.