Government sets up a six-member committee
The 15-year-old promise to have in place a cultural policy, covering the entire gamut of issues pertaining to culture in the State was finally given a shape with the government constituting a six-member committee to draft a comprehensive cultural policy.
The committee comprising Gurulinga Kapase (Dharwad), D.K. Chouta (Mangalore), Geetha Nagabhushan (Gulbarga), Bhanu Mushtaq (Hassan), C. Basavalingaiah (Mysore), Chandrakantha Kusunura (Belgaum) is headed by writer Baragur Ramachandrappa.
According to Prof. Ramachandrappa, the policy will be finalised within six months.
Minister of State for Kannada and Culture Umashree told presspersons here on Friday that the government, which promised to offer a comprehensive cultural policy in the budget and earmarked Rs. 25 lakh for the purpose, had kept its words by constituting the committee.
The committee would submit its report in the next three months, she added.
She said that the Bharatiya Janata Party government had constituted a committee to draft the cultural policy and that committee had been reconstituted now by including new faces.
The previous committee’s brief was to draft a policy that would help in formulating guidelines for the Department of Kannada and Culture on awarding financial assistance to cultural organisations, selection of various awa- rds being given by the government and appointment of chairpersons to various academies and authorities, among other issues. The brief for the fresh committee was to formulate a comprehensive administrative policy that represents the cultural spirit of Karnataka in a more holistic manner, she said.
Prof. Ramachandrappa, who chaired the first meeting of the committee on Friday, said that though culture is an abstract idea, the policy would offer concrete suggestions on the government’s role in nurturing it.
The committee would hold meetings in Mysore, Mangalore, Dharwad, Belgaum, Bijapur, Gulbarga, Bellary, Bangalore and Shimoga to elicit opinion from a cross-section of society, besides local cultural representatives.
Members of the committee would contact senior litterateurs, artistes and experts in various fields to gather ideas and opinions.
The policy would be formulated keeping the spirit of the Constitution in mind and it would focus on protecting the nation’s secular identity, extending equity and communal harmony in society which would help the government envisage new programmes.
“The policy will represent cultural diversity, instead of monolithic culture,” he stated.
Besides the cultural fields, the policy includes other sectors such as education, information technology, rejuvenation of heritage sites and languages such as Kodava, Tulu and Konkani, he said.