Kashmir likely to get first Cultural Centre

We should close Tehzeeb Mahal: Drabu
• JKAACL to start documentation of shrines
• Academy asked to tie-up with Princeton University
Kashmir likely to get first Cultural Centre

Irfan Rashid


 Minister for Finance, La¬bour Employment and Culture Dr Haseeb A Drabu Monday said the government intends to set up a an integrated Kashmir Cultural Centre on the pattern of India International Centre, Delhi so that a platform can be created for the local thinkers, writ¬ers and artists for exchange of ideas.
The Minister was interacting with the officers during his visit to the Central Office of the Jammu and Kashmir Academy of Art, Culture and Languages to review the work¬ing of the institution besides discuss¬ing the possibilities of fast-pacing the activities related to propagation, preservation and promotion of J&K’s distinct culture.
Drabu asked the engineers to pre¬pare a blueprint for the centre and also instructed them to frame a com¬prehensive mapping of all the scat¬tered buildings of Jammu and Kash¬mir Academy for Art, Culture and Languages (JKAACL).
During his spot visit to JKAACL, Lal Mandi he took notice of the acad¬emy’s work performance and sug¬gested ways to improve it.
On the occasion, Secretary JKAA¬CL, Dr Aziz Hajni suggested how they can convert the present idle buildings lying with the academy into ‘Kashmir Cultural Centre’, where literary intellectuals can sit and share their opinions with comfort¬able facilities of reading rooms, li¬brary and even bed rooms for guests.
This is the appropriate time for the restructuring of JKAACL, Dra¬bu said.
“We should have five cultural cen¬tres of the academy working in all parts of the state,” said Drabu. He added they will not be administrative units.
He suggested the centres will be constructed in “Pir Panjal, Chenab valley, Tawi based, Indus based and Jhelum valley.”
To make sure the academy uses its funds only for its useful purpos¬es, he said: “You should not give money to others but use it only for the activities of JKAACL.”
Possibly the long pending “Tehzeeb Mahal” may be shut as the minister was seen not to be very happy with its continuous delay in construction. “We should close Tehzeeb Mahal,” he said as a passing reference.
To encourage book publishing, he also suggested public-private partner¬ship.
He instructed Secretary JKACCL to take initiatives for the documenta¬tion of all shrines. “There are gaps in our history which must be filled with authentic data and not just rumors,” he said.
The Minister asked the academy to do a tie-up with Princeton Uni¬versity which has already compiled a Kashmiri language dictionary.
“Till date, only Europeans have been documenting our stories whether of history or culture or any other things but now it is time for us to do it for ourselves,” he said.
Talking to Rising Kashmir on the sidelines, Dr Hajni said this ‘Kash¬mir Cultural Centre’ will serve as a nerve centre for all intellectual discourses. “We want to have a cof¬fee lounge, reading room, and every kind of facility here.”
He said the academy will also delib¬erate with the Culture Minister re¬garding “Cultural policy of the state” very soon.
Managing Director, Jammu and Kashmir Projects Construction Cor¬poration (JKPCC) and other senior officers were present on the occa¬sion.
Later, the Minister inspected the pace of work being done on the Tagore Hall and directed the officers of JK¬PCC to ensure the timely completion of the project so that the budding art¬ists can have the requisite plat form for show casing and honing their tal¬ent. He said that due to the non-avail¬ability of the requisite infra in the State our talent is facing lot of difficul¬ties and it is the duty of the Govern¬ment to ensure that they get the req¬uisite facilities.

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