'Follow rules, organise events'

30 December,2010 06:53 AM IST |   |  Rinkita Gurav

Government officials deny cultural programmes in the city are fading away; say security threats led to cancellation of events in the past two years

Government officials deny cultural programmes in the city are fading away; say security threats led to cancellation of events in the past two years

In the last part of the Vanishing Culture series,MiD DAY meets government officials to know about measures undertaken by them to save cultural events in the city.

It was surprising that when MiD DAY contacted officials from various government departments to know why cultural events in the city were fading out, they kept passing the buck to each other.
We spoke to a few officials who are responsible for various permissions for cultural events in the city:

Mohan Adhtani
Additional Municipal Commissioner

The BMC has decided the locations of Silence Zones in the city as per the international guidelines. If there has to be any relaxation in the law, it has to come from the government as the government itself has brought in the policy. The BMC gives permission for various functions in the city but if the guidelines are not fulfilled then the permissions are denied.

The 10 pm deadline and silence zones are surely affecting the city but it*s happening across all the cities. So many functions are now adapting to the norms and laws.
The laws are formulated to protect the rights of every citizen.
Vijay Singh Jadhav
Deputy Commissioner of Police (Head Quarters1)

The silence zones are mapped by the BMC and we are just following the law by stopping any kind of noise disturbances in the zones. The events can take place in open spaces but have to end before the 10 pm deadline. If they do not, the police follow the guidelines and book them under violation of law.

We have not received any application to carry out lavanis or tamashas at Rang Bhavan. If there are any in the future, we would not deny them.

As far as security is concerned, any festival in the city that attracts large amount of crowd should have its own security as well. The police do provide security to a limited extent, but by and large, it*s taken care off by the organisers of the event.

Brijesh Singh
Additional Commissioner of Police

The festivals and cultural programmes are for enjoyment and interaction, but they also cause huge congestion causing a lot of inconvenience to the residents of that area. Organisers should have a traffic management plan to combat the traffic issues. They should also have a plan for parking.
We do not block any roads and try to manage as much as we can so that the motorists do not have to face any inconvenience.

Uday Tatkare
Chief Fire Executive

The materials used at the venue are to be checked to avoid any problems at the event.
At present, the number of cultural concerts has gone down because establishing a show is expensive now as the cost of materials and other things has gone up.
Avinash Dhakne, Joint Managing Director, MTDC
I do not agree that the festivals are fading away. Only in the last two years, the security threats did not permit us to hold a few festivals and so they were cancelled at the last moment. We are trying all possible ways to save the culture and the cultural events. For every event we get over 200 applications from renowned artistes for participation. So nobody can say that people are not interested or do not want to participate.

BMC Commissioner Swadhin Kshatriya was unavailable for comment despite several attempts.

Ek Cutting!
Rang Bhavan

A haven for rock lovers, Rang Bhavan is an open-air theater that used to be a sought after destination for those who follow music. It is located in Fort and hosted live performances and rock concerts on a regular basis. Landmark music festivals such as Independence Rock, Jazz Yatra and numerous tamashas and lawanis used to be performed at Rang Bhavan till it was placed under a silence zone in 2003.

Lovers speak

Prahlad Kakkar, Socialite
The film industry is in Mumbai and there are so many people who earn a living out of these cultural shows. The laws are totally baseless and will drive these performers out of the city.
The government is anti-cultural and is coming up with innumerable norms to drive out all the festivals from the city. The government feels such programmes bring in anti-elements and disrupt the environment but by bringing up such rules, the government is ending the cultural atmosphere.

Sujeet Rammana, member of Bombay Rock Association
Rang Bhavan was a Mecca for rockers and all the rock-fans used to attend the concerts there. Many musicians and rock bands had established themselves there and such festivals can hardly be seen anywhere now. The city is losing its musical touch, as there is little exposure to live music for the younger generation because of such bans by the government.

Ruchita Tahiliani, an ex-student of KC College, who has attended the Kala Ghoda Festival a lot of times, said, "As students it was a place for showcasing talent and u00a0meeting new people and it*s really upsetting that the festival is not going to take place now."

cultural events security threats fading taxes
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