Protests over humiliating Goans

| 02 January 2001 23:47 IST

The two-day festival, where India's nightingale Lata Mangeshkar was felicitated, has become a major controversy here as Goans were not made part of it by the Maharashtra-based Chaturang, the organisers.

The local BJP government has been accused by the opposition parties, local cultural bodies and even the media for giving a grant of Rs four lakh for the festival held in Goa while locals were deprived of even buying costly tickets of the historical event.

Lata, while receiving the Jeevan Gaurav Puraskar at the hands of union home minister L K Advani, had described the award as the greatest ever honour in her life. "It is most valuable because it has been accorded to me in my own land of Goa on the day my father Master Dinanath was born 100 years ago", she had said.

But hardly anybody from the whole Mangeshkar family or other celebrities present at the two-day festival were aware that not even five to ten per cent of the audience was from Goa. In fact few tickets in the last rows at the Kala Academy auditorium were made available for sale here at last minute, after selling most of it in Maharashtra.

In protest, the youth Congress went to the extent of gheraoing the Kala Academy officials later while local artists protested at the venue itself for not allowing them entry when table maestro Zakir Hussain was performing before the award giving ceremony.

"In fact Chaturang commercialised the whole event by using names of Mangeshkar family, whom the whole state of Goa respects", alleged Jitendra Deshprabhu, a local Congress leader. In retaliation, he has suggested that the Goan cultural bodies should come together and felicitate the melody queen once again.

Justifying his action of spending funds from the state treasury, chief minister Manohar Parrikar however has gone a step ahead and disclosed his plan to formulate a policy to financially help such outside cultural bodies who can get such great artists to Goa.

"It will also help the state in terms of increasing the tourist inflow rather than spending on unproductive foreign junkets", said Parrikar, while denying the charge that Chaturang was helped because of the RSS links it is having.

"But why help such commercial events who take funds from the state and then hold programmes by charging heavy for tickets", asks Yadneshwar Nigley, a music lover and a thinker. He has appealed to the locals to protest against such exploitation.

In fact several cultural organisations are also unhappy over totally neglecting a single local body into the two-day festival in spite of assuring to make it an event with local participation. The whole festival included only two Goan signers.

Besides two third of the audience travelling down to Goa from Bombay and Pune, several writers and artists from Maharashtra also participated including Nana Patekar, Bhakti Barve Inamdar, Sukanya Kulkarni, Mohan Joshi, Atul Parchure and Mohan Wagh as well as Mangeshkar family including Asha Bhosale, Usha Mangeshkar, Meena Khadilkar and Hridaynath Mangeshkar. is now on Telegram & also Youtube. Kindly subscribe for free & remain updated.

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