New cultural policy to be youth centric: Sidhu

Chandigarh: Punjab minister Navjot Singh Sidhu today said the new cultural policy will be youth centric to enable and inspire them to be aware of the extremely rich and glorious culture of the state.

More than 55 per cent of the state’s population are youngsters, out of which majority are less than 38 years. Therefore, there is a need to formulate a cultural policy keeping the youth as its the target audience, the Tourism and Cultural Affairs Minister said in a meeting here.

A core committee comprising the intellectuals would be formed. It would brainstorm in preparing the draft of the policy by taking into account all the stakeholders, Sidhu said.

“After finalisation, the draft would be presented to the Chief Minister who would unveil the new policy,” a release quoting him said.

Laying emphasis on bringing children in perfect sync with their cultural and historical root, the minister said as a vast number of children are hooked to cartoon characters, a mechanism would be put in place to dub their voice in Punjabi.

This would serve the twin purpose of inculcating in children a sense of belonging towards the Punjabi language as well as catering to their entertainment quotient, he said.

Batting for the need to have a ‘Goonda Act’ to curb piracy, Sidhu said piracy is striking at the very roots of the Punjabi entertainment industry, resulting in huge financial losses.

The minister also said web-based platforms would be put to maximum use to upload videos, texts and presentations about Punjab’s culture and traditions.

Sidhu said the key features of the new policy would be propagating Punjabi and connecting the new generation with the heritage of the state.

“The real test would be the effective implementation of the policy after its formation and the department concerned has been directed to ensure the same at the village-level in such a way so as to give it the shape of a people’s movement,” he said.

Sidhu also listed constituting a cultural parliament among his priorities to connect young minds with their roots.

The meeting also deliberated at length on putting a complete stop to the trend of lecherous music.

Renowned actor Gurpreet Ghuggi put forward a proposal of installing statues of folk heroes of Punjab in every town and city.

The minister said the statues of Bhagat Puran Singh, Baba Sohan Singh Bhakna and Komagatamaru ship would be installed soon.

He also advocated the raising of a parallel force to combat filthy songs and movies and supported the suggestion of singer Pammi Bai to use the cultural aspect in propping up the tourism industry in the state.

The chairman of Punjab Kala Parishad, Satinder Satti, suggested inclusion of budding artists among those deciding the cultural policy.

Sidhu assured that a Young Artists Association would be formed and also agreed to suggestions of looking after those Punjabi artists who are now living in oblivion.

Filmmaker Darshan Aulakh also suggested that the film industry should be a part of the policy.

Actress Sunita Dhir suggested the starting of a repertoire of music, plays and dance forms while Deepak Bali advocated to boost classical music as well as the Punjabi language.

The experts also suggested inclusion of folk music, theatre, folk dances in syllabus of schools and colleges.