Goyal addresses artists of Chandigarh

At a large gathering of artistic directors, writers and performing artistes of Chandigarh, cultural leaders listed their dissatisfaction with
successive leaders and administrations for ignoring culture. The event
saw leading lights of art world decry politicians’ nonchalance toward
culture and art in the city. Speaker after speaker chided the
administration which spends lacs of Rupees on bringing performers from
Mumbai but shirks from spending even few thousand on local artists.
Asif Ali, Sardar H.S. Bhatti, Mrs Devinder Davan and Dr. D.S. Gupt Vice Chairman of Sahitya Academy spoke on the function. The
program was moderated by Amulya Shukla who added his voice to the
hopes and woes of artists.

The floor was then handed to independent candidate Mr. Ajay Goyal who held the audience spell bound by his personal stories of cultural
interests and a visionary agenda for Chandigarh. ” I used to wonder
how it was that Europe which was poor and destroyed after second world war rose again. I used to wonder about the strength of European cities. I understood that cities that have culture at their heart are truly beautiful and successful. Only those cities that respect culture can be called great cities. Prosperity comes after culture and art are give their rightful place at the top of agenda.” Goyal said that his
vision for Chandigarh has artistry, theatre, music and gaiety at its
core. I dream of a Chandigarh which is not just beautiful in
appearance but is full of creativity, artistic expression and where
every child and young person’s dreams can take flight.” He showed
presentation of European Cities of culture and said he had studied how
cities achieved greatness. “Chandigarh has all the ingredients to be a
cultural jewel of India and a great prosperous city of country and
indeed Asia. But it is for politicians to share that vision with
artists and give that dream a reality through concrete steps and
actions,” Goyal said.
I think beauty that is just physical is hollow and pyrrhic, Goyal
said. “In fact, if the culture and art remain under assault as they
now are, the city could be just a mechanical living space with no
soul. We must nurture the soul of Chandigarh by supporting its
Goyal listed a number of initiatives that included changing the rules
for MPLAD fund to provide money for art and culture infrastructure. ”
Culture is just as important as water because it is the life blood of
a civilized nation and city. People have a hunger for food and culture
and that is what makes Indian civilization so great. “
“If we can spend MPLAD money on gardens and flowers, we certainly can spend 25 percent on culture. ” Goyal has earlier promised to give at least twnety five percent of his discretionary fund to sports and yoga in the city.
He said Chandigarh was a mini India – a diverse, rich and
heterogeneous society which had potential to blossom as a cultural
city. He listed his initiatives and said he will knock at every door –
whether NRIs, corporates, government and administration and initiate a number of programmes to support art in the city. If Chandigarh fails
in revival of Indian culture and art forms, then India fails too
because we are a model city for the whole country.
A number of art personalities complimented Goyal for having a vision
for art and culture. ” I have known a lot of politicians, but I never
met anyone with such wisdom, vision and focus on culture.” said Mrs.
Davan. “I can say it is even a miracle for us to know that a
politician has spent so much time developing a cultural plan for the
city and that in itself can bring lots of good.” Other speakers
included Sh. Sudesh Sharma, Sh. Santy Saini and Sh. Uma kant Mehta who fully endorsed Mr. Goyal’s vision and proposals.
Ajay Goyal said that “art and culture should at the forefront of any
planning and artists should be treated as most respected members of

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