Jaipur Shorgars face heat from Sivakasi

Though they were brought to Jaipur from Afghanistan by the erstwhile rulers for their art of making fireworks, but now the Muslim Shorgar community is struggling to sustain their art. “Sivakasi-made products have grabbed the entire market. It is a difficult time for our community,” says Haji Shahabuddin, an elderly Shorgar.
According to the Shorgars, it was the time of Raja Man Singh and Madho Singh of the erstwhile Jaipur state when they got the patronage from the state and settled in Amer. “Now, most of the Shorgars have shifted to Jaipur,” says Shahabuddin. The Shorgars said once there were 60 shops selling firecrackers owned by them in the walled city, but now only half-a dozen are left.
The Shorgars also said that their new generation is shifting to other professions.“ I asked my four sons to opt for some other occupation, because we face a stiff competition from firecracker manufacturers of Sivakasi, Shahabuddin said. The Shorgars said during the princely days, their skill was promoted and they were invited to festivals like Diwali to exhibit their skill.
“Though the firecrackers manufactured by the Shorgars are in demand, but their product is costly. Secondly, the Shorgars are not ready to follow the changing market trends,” said Sandeep Mittal, a cracker trader.
A shorgar, Zaheer Ahamad, said that traditional firework was different from the modern ones. It has more colours and less noise, but now people only like noise.

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