R'sthan: 150 artists stage protest against govt for altering constitution of JKK

R'sthan: 150 artists stage protest against govt for altering constitution of JKK

Around 150 artists from all over Rajasthan including Padma Awardees staged a protested against the Rajasthan government for unlawfully altering the constitution of Jawahar Kala Kendra (JKK) the art and Culture centre of Jaipur, Rajasthan.

Artists hailing from all genres staged a protest by performing poetry, sketching, clay modelling, nukkad natak and and raised slogans outside the Jawahar Kala Kendra. Led by Rajasthan's Padma awardees Shakir Ali and Tilak Gitai and Padma Shree Arjun Prajapati, the artists aimed to highlight the neglect of Rajasthan's own art forms and artists by the management of JKK.

The primary concerns of the protesting artists was the unlawful alteration done to the original constitution of JKK, the state's foremost art center to accommodate unqualified members and neglect of state government and JKK's management towards its architecture by tampering it.

Shakir Ali, Padam Shri recepient in the field of miniature told DH, "JKK is one of the master pieces of architecture which was designed by famous architect Charles Correa. The design of this art institution is taught in the best Architecture colleges but the management of JKK has ruined it by making use of glass and plastic, materials discarded by its architect Correa."

At the protest site, Jaipur's theatre artist Himanshu Jhankal presented a small skit based on the altered constitution of JKK, whose governing council is headed by Rajasthan Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje.

Speaking to DH, Ranvir Sinh, National President of IPTA (Indian People's Theatre Association) explained, "As per the original constitution of JKK, there is a clause for a General Council which clearly states that the centre should have heads of three academies (music, art and literature) and national and international scholars of eight art disciplines as its members. But it has been badly quashed and the new governing council list is dominated by industrialists instead of artists who are least concerned about art forms and are mostly forthcoming in money generation."

Another Padam Shri artist Arjun Prajapati who made a folk portrait in clay to highlight the neglect of Rajasthan's own artists lamented, "Jawahar Kala Kendra was known for guiding the artists but now from last couple of years it has become mere an event company. Its new Director General and her staff are exhausting funds to organise lavish events instead of honing the local talent."

Memorandum to Chief Minister

Artists also gave a collective memorandum to Additional Director General of JKK which was addressed to Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje, who heads the governing council. Memorandum also shares an instance in which the architect Charles Correa's expressed displeasure over the tampering done with JKK, months before he passed away in 2015.

It also raises concern over government's alleged privatisation plans of the city's old theatre Ravindra Manch and non-appointment of committees of various academies in Rajasthan.

In November 2015, when JKK was caught in controversy when attempts were made to form a new governing council. Within a week of its formation the governing council was quashed as it had inducted British sculptor Anish Kapoor who had  criticized Prime Narendra Modi openly and commented that India is being ruled by a “Hindu Taliban”.

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