10-Day Drama Festival begins at Abhinav Theatre

Haseeb Drabu for expanding cultural space, encouraging literary activities

Minister for Finance, Labour & Employment and Culture, Dr Haseeb A Drabu today said the cultural space is very important for a society and there is need to address the vacuum created in the past few years in this field.

Addressing a gathering after inaugurating the 10-Day Annual Drama Festival 2016-17 at Abhinav Theatre here, the Finance Minister said the cultural activities should be driven in a way to help the society in preserving its rich culture and traditions.

Reiterating the commitment of the government in promoting the activities in the spheres of literature, languages and other activities related to culture, the Minister said there is no dearth of funds in this regard. He further said that the resources for conducting cultural activities on a larger scale will be doubled and the same will reflect in the ensuing budget.

Dr Drabu said the government is keen to come up with a cultural policy which will be put in public domain for the valuable suggestions from the members of civil society. He also desired that a Cultural Chair be established in the State Universities.

Applauding the role of Cultural Academy in taking various initiatives to promote the Art and Culture in the State, the Finance Minister hailed the new initiatives being taken in the promotion and dissemination of various forms of art, literature and culture.

The Finance Minister said the strenuous efforts need to be made to promote cultural and literacy activities especially in regional languages. He stressed on spreading awareness among people about cultural heritage of the state and to attract people especially youth for their active participation in this field.

Calling the Drama Festival a cultural movement for spreading awareness, the Finance Minister said that such events are necessary in the present times helping people to understand closely their culture. He said that the activities of the academy should be decentralized and it needs to be taken to other areas of the state.

Dr Drabu asked the Academy to prepare a calendar of the activities to be conducted outside Jammu and Srinagar so that more people can be involved in the cultural movement. He also asked them to lay focus on reviving performing arts by way of organizing seminars, exchange programmes and other means.

The Finance Minister expressed the hope that this Drama Festival will attract more and more people in connecting with their culture and further working collectively in preserving it.

Earlier, Secretary Jammu and Kashmir, Academy of Art, Culture and Languages (JKAACL), Dr Aziz Hajni briefed the audience about the various initiatives taken up by the academy to preserve and promote the State’s distinct cultural ethos.  He said the government has approved the production cost of plays to be doubled and also the prize money given to the artists in individual capacity. He said the long pending demand of the artists’ fraternity for having Writers Club has also been fulfilled. Lifetime Achievement Award and best award in various categories have also been proposed by the academy to the government, he added. He urged the local artists in regional languages to actively participate in such events.

On the inaugural day, the play ‘Oh Janmea e nai jis Lahore ni vekhya’ written by Asgar Wajahat, adaptation of S K S Kalali in Punjabi was staged. The play was designed and directed by Javed Gill.

The Finance Minister also distributed the certificates among the artists who bagged the best awards during the Annual Drama Festival 2014-15.

Among others, Prof Champa Sharma, Prof Rita Jatindra, Khalid Hussain, Ghulam Nabi Badana, Prof Lalit Gupta, SSP Crime Mubashir Ahmed Latifee, Dr Baljit Raina, Dr Kamal Sharma, prominent citizens and theatre lovers were present on the occasion.