New cultural policy to be youth centric: Sidhu

Chandigarh: “The new cultural policy under the directions of Chief Minister to be framed by the Tourism and Cultural Affairs Department, Punjab, would concentrate on keeping the youth of the state in prime focus so as to enable and inspire them to be aware of the extremely rich and glorious cultural annals of Punjab.”

Disclosing this while presiding over a meeting here today and brainstorming with the multitude of literary and cultural doyens of Punjab on preparation and implementation of state’s new cultural policy, Tourism and Cultural Affairs Minister, Punjab, Mr. Navjot Singh Sidhu said that over 55 percent of the population of Punjab comprises youth out of which the majority are less than 38 years of age, hence the need to formulate a cultural policy with youth as the target audience.

The Minister further said that a core committee comprising of the intellectual minds of the state would be formed which would brainstorm in preparing the draft of the policy taking into account all the stakeholders. He also said that after finalization, draft would be presented to the Chief Minister who would unveil the new policy.

Laying emphasis on bringing children in perfect sync with their cultural and historical root, the minister said that since a vast number of children are hooked to cartoon characters of Disney channel, a mechanism would be put in place to dub the voice of all the cartoon characters in Punjabi which would serve the twin purpose of inculcating in children a sense of belonging towards Punjabi language as well as catering to their entertainment quotient.

Batting for the need to have a ‘Goonda Act’ to curb piracy, the minister said that piracy is striking at the very roots of Punjabi entertainment industry resulting in huge losses of economic nature to the producers.

The minister also said that in keeping with the modern era, internet and social media platforms would be put to maximum use to upload videos, texts and presentations about the Punjabi culture and traditions which would in turn bring the techno-savvy youth totally in tune with their lofty traditions and history of the state.

Mr. Sidhu further said that the key features of the new policy would be propagation of mother tongue Punjabi, Connecting new generation with the heritage of state, preserving cultural monuments and traditions of Punjab, Giving fillip to tourism sector, Constructing film city and curbing piracy.

He also said that the real test would be th effective implementation of the policy after its formation which is why he has directed the department to ensure that the policy under tutelage of the core committee is implemented at the village level in such a way so as to give it the shape of a people’s movement. He also listed constituting a cultural parliament among his priorities to connect young minds with their roots.

The meeting also deliberated at length on putting a complete stop to the trend of lecherous music. Renowned actor Gurpreet Ghuggi put forward a proposal of installing statues of folk heroes of Punjab in every town and city to which the minister agreed and said that the statues of Bhagat Puran Singh, Baba Sohan Singh Bhakna and Komagatamaru ship would be installed soon. He also advocated the raising of a parallel force to combat filthy songs and movies.The minister also supported the suggestion of Pammi Bai to use the cultural aspect in propping up the tourism industry in the state.

The Chairman of Punjab Kala Parishad Satinder Satti suggested inclusion of budding artists amongst those deciding cultural policy to which Mr. Sidhu announced that a ‘Young Artists Association’ would be formed. Eminent personalities Ninder Ghugianvi and Bhupinder Singh Babbal suggested looking after those famous Punjabi artists who are now living in oblivion which was also agreed to by Mr. Sidhu.

Filmmaker Darshan Aulakh thanked Mr. Sidhu for okaying the proposal of Single Window System for necessary permissions concerning shooting of movies. The filmmaker also suggested making film industry a part of the policy. Famous actress Sunita Dhir suggested starting a repertoire of music, plays and dance forms, Deepak Bali advocated boost to classical music as well as Punjabi language and Dr. Lakhwinder Johal advanced the proposal of making documentaries of items holding great cultural importance.

The experts also suggested inclusion of folk music, theatre, folk dances in syllabus of schools/colleges, separate period of moral education and teaching Punjabi language and culture in technical education. The minister in reply to these, said that these pertain to different departments and it would be his serious endeavour to put these before the Chief Minister and ensure the uniform implementation of the cultural policy so as to bring schools/colleges/universities under its ambit.

On the occasion, the Technical Education Minister, Mr. Charanjit Singh Channi said that the common people are influenced most by the artist fraternity which makes it the moral responsibility of the artists to produce such a content which can inspire and provide guidance to the people. He also advocated the beautification of religious and cultural places to give a boost to the tourism sector in order to attract more tourists.

Among others present on the occasion included Adviser, Tourism and Cultural Affairs Department, Dr. Amar Singh, Secretary, Tourism and Cultural Affairs Department, Mr. Jaspal Singh and Director, Dr. Navjot Pal Singh Randhawa.

— PTC News