Asking people to celebrate and take pride in state’s unique diversity, Chief Minister, Mufti Mohammad Sayeed, Sunday asked the youth to take the ownership for preserving the composite cultural legacy.
He said theatre is a powerful medium which has to become a ‘nerve centre’ of cultural revival in the state. “I don’t want youth to become couch potatoes but see them getting involved in promoting our treasure trove of culture and heritage,” he stated.
The Chief Minister made these observations while addressing a gathering of people after inaugurating the renovated and upgraded Abhinav Theatre, here today.
The refurbished Abhinav Theatre has been commissioned nearly three months after the renovated Tagore Hall was inaugurated by the Chief Minister at the summer capital.
Deputy Chief Minister, Dr. Nirmal Kumar Singh, Minister for Finance, Labour & Employment and Culture, Dr. Haseeb A. Drabu and Minister of State for Education, Information & Culture, Priya Sethi were also present on the occasion.
Referring to the state’s unique plurality and multicultural ethos, Mufti Sayeed, who is also the President of the Cultural Academy, hailed the people for rejecting divisive forces who see things from the narrow prism of region and religion. He called for institutionalizing cultural activities for its sustained promotion. “Cultural centres across the state must reflect confluence of different cultures which actually exist in our state,” he added.
The Chief Minister referred to the prolonged strife in the state over the last three decades in which besides other sectors, cultural activities also became a big casualty.
Dwelling upon the power of culture as a medium of learning, Mufti Sayeed said though he had studied theGandhian philosophy of non-violence in books, yet he could fathom the true import of this philosophy only after watching Vidhu Vinod Chopra’s Lage Raho Munna Bhai.
Underscoring the need to associate colleges and educational institutions with theatre and literary activities, the Chief Minister said the talent of youth has to be channelized towards a new awakening in the state which depicts brotherhood and mutual coexistence. “Music, linguistics and fine arts have to be taught as subjects in our educational system which will inculcate the importance of cultural and heritage in our lives,” he stated.
Mufti Sayeed reiterated the need to initiate steps for establishment of a School of Sufiyana and Folk Music in Kashmir and another institution at Jammu on similar lines to preserve our cultural legacy and popularize it amongst our youth. “While I respect the new wave of cultural modernity in the form of films and television, it should, however, in no way bulldoze our roots in heritage,” he added.
Dr. Nirmal Singh, in his address, highlighted the role of culture in fostering inclusiveness in the state. He also listed the initiatives of the coalition government on the development front across the state. “The liberal Central package announced by the Prime Minister Narendra Modi will be optimally utilized to give fillip to the development of all the three regions of the state,” he added.
Speaking on the occasion, Dr. Drabu sought people’s participation in making these assets vibrant centres of cultural activity. He also hinted at firming up a calendar of cultural and literary events. “We are looking towards art lovers and culturally-conscience civil society towards creating an enabling environment for revival of cultural activities in the state,” he said, while assuring the people of liberal financial assistance for promotion of culture in the state.
In her address, Priya Sethi stressed upon the need to provide platform to youngsters enabling them to assimilate the rich cultural values, which are intrinsically linked to our character. She also threw light on the life and teachings of Acharya Abhinav Gupt, after whom the Theatre has been named.
The Hall reverberated with several cultural performances depicting the unique Dogra folk, which enthralled the jam-packed audience.
Earlier, Secretary, J&K Academy of Art, Culture & Languages, Aziz Hajini, presented welcome address in which he highlighted the upcoming events to be organized at Abhinav Theatre.
Also present were Vice Chairman, Kissan Advisory Board, Daljit Singh Chib, Legislators, Sat Sharma, Zaffar Manhas and Raja Manzoor, besides galaxy of people associated with the promotion of art and culture in the state. (Agencies)