Where is the cultural policy of India?
One may ask, why does a country like India need a cultural policy? Every country has been showcasing their rich art, culture and heritage in a grand manner but India has refrained from doing so because of lack of funds, the lapse of administration or because of political corruption. The Cultural Policy in India has vanished. In England, for example, the cultural policy provides for a sum of 360 pounds to junior artistes and the amount goes up according to their seniority. Even theatres and corporate houses have been playing a vital role in establishing and supporting art and culture in a big way. Artistes receive basic wages to survive and continue performing their art. The Government of England collects 20 per cent from wages as tax but in return, the artiste receives medical and personal insurance.
However, in India, the artistes have no proper income. The little financial help that has been allocated goes to renowned gurus, corrupt individuals or people with influence. Corruption has marred even the government cultural bodies. Under these circumstances, the appeal from the art community to the new government which will be sworn in soon for the next five years is to develop a sound cultural policy that facilitates the welfare of artistes and helps in enriching our cultural heritage. The policy needs to be developed with a sense of urgency before the young artistes lose interest in pursuing arts at a professional level.
BR Vikram Kumar