Karnataka

State gets cultural policy

The State Cabinet on Monday approved a cultural policy for the State, perhaps the first in India to have such a comprehensive policy, aimed at promoting Kannada culture and language.

Briefing reporters after the Cabinet meeting, Law and Parliamentary Affairs Minister T.B. Jayachandra said the cultural policy was drafted based on the recommendations of a six-member committee headed by writer Baragur Ramachandrappa.

The committee submitted a 68-page report with 44 recommendations as early as in June 2014. Interestingly, the Cabinet has cleared the policy in the backdrop of the State government’s strong stand on issues such as a separate State flag.

Amongst other things, the recommendations include measures such as setting up of committees on harmony to deal with communal tension in parts of the State and also makes it mandatory for a committee to be formed to consider a ban on any literary work.

Mr. Jayachandra said a grant of ₹59.68 crore would be given for implementing the policy in 2017-18.

The policy would also aim at formulating measures to curb the tendency of banning Kannada books for trivial reasons, decentralisation of the Department of Kannada and Culture, formation of search committees to select chairpersons to various academies and authorities to de-politicise appointments, establishment of art galleries in every district, formulation of separate programmes to help artistes in distress, establishment of separate Bayalata, Sugama Sangeeta and Nritya academies, and giving priority to local cinema culture.

Scholarships

The policy prescribes guidelines for appointments of various heads of academies, selecting personalities for awards, providing scholarships/fellowships, holding programmes at tourist places, construction of Kannada bhavans, and holding exhibitions.

The policy has been approved at a time when Chief Minister Siddaramaiah has been sparing no opportunity to project himself as a staunch advocate of the Kannada cause.

He has been in the news over the last couple of weeks for his vocal support to issues related to Kannada and culture such as having a separate State flag and removal of Hindi words from Namma Metro signage.

The plan to have a cultural policy was first envisaged during the Janata Dal government in 1996. A Cabinet sub-committee headed by H.K. Patil, Minister for Rural Development and Panchayat Raj, studied the recommendations, including the financial implications of implementing it. After the sub-committee showed the green signal, the Cabinet approved it.

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Printable version | Jan 23, 2021 2:46:01 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/karnataka/state-gets-cultural-policy/article19446883.ece

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