Sundeep Bhutoria

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Friday, March 30, 2012

Rajasthan - keeping the cultural flag flying


Friday, March 30, 2012: Rajasthan's rich and diverse cultural heritage is its hallmark. Today evening I was at a seminar that was attended by eminent writers, artistes and connoisseurs, who participated in an engaging conversation on the subject of art and culture in the state.
The seminar was organised by Rajasthan Sahitya Academy at the Suchna Kendra.
I was invited as a speaker to talk about culture from the perspective of a new awakening. Among other speakers were renowned danseuse Prerna Shrimali, Ranveer Singh, theatre artiste, Vijay Verma, cultural aficionado, K C Maloo, whose own brand of Veena cassettes is a household name as far as Rajasthani folk songs are concerned. 
Shyam Maharshi, President, Rajasthani Language and Literature Academy, was also present at the seminar.
Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot, who was supposed to attend the function, could not make it as the Assembly was in session. However, this was the first time all the State Academy presidents came got under one roof to discuss the cultural scenario in the State. There were some very fruitful deliberations.
Prerna Shrimali called for promoting and preserving classical arts along with the folk arts. Ranveer Singh urged the need to put in place a cultural policy so as to make it more relevant and in tune with the modern times.
Elaborating on the significance of culture in a materialistic society, I stressed on the need for a cultural renaissance or awakening since artistes from Rajasthan were not accorded due credit and respect. Instead of inviting artistes from other states, the government should first make efforts to promote local talent and also protect their interests.
I thanked Shri Ved Vyas, President, Rajasthan Sahitya Akademy, for inviting and giving me an opportunity to speak.
The positive outcome of the seminar was that all the speakers unanimously expressed the need for formulating a comprehensive cultural policy. I said culture should be separated from tourism. I personally feel that Rajasthan folk activities to promote tourism is passed off as the state's culture, which isn't true.
There were quite a number of functions lined up today to celebrate the Rajasthan Diwas but I found it appropriate to only attend this event.
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