Delhi gets arts and culture panel as govt looks to set up cultural policy for Capital

Emilee Geist

© Provided by Hindustan Times The Delhi government has set up an advisory panel for the promotion of art, culture and languages to help draft a “cultural policy” for the national capital, according to documents, a senior government official said. Among the members of the advisory panel are actor Manoj […]





© Provided by Hindustan Times


The Delhi government has set up an advisory panel for the promotion of art, culture and languages to help draft a “cultural policy” for the national capital, according to documents, a senior government official said.

Among the members of the advisory panel are actor Manoj Bajpayee, professor Ira Bhaskar, Delhi-based art curator Pooja Sood and art historian Latika Gupta among others, the official told HT.

“The advisory panel shall submit its recommendations on various aspects of cultural policy like community outreach and participation, inclusiveness, infrastructure, publicity, financial assistance, arts, education, research and development, documentation and archiving, promotion of languages, festivals and events, art forms, and (both) tangible and intangible heritage,” read a document pertaining to the panel that HT has seen.

The 15-member advisory panel is expected to submit its first report by November 9, and the recommendations are expected to help the Delhi government begin working on a draft cultural policy for the city. It was officially set up on September 9 and the first meeting of the panel is likely to be held in the next two weeks, the senior government official said.

The document further read, “The government has been working with the values of inclusiveness, diversity, democratisation of knowledge and culture, expansion of cultural landscape, social change and decentralisation of government spending. It is important that the department realises the importance of its schemes. All interventions and programmes need to be thought through keeping this in mind.”

“The deputy CM has further desired that the art, culture and languages department should use this time (i.e. the current period when field activities of the department have curtailed due to the pandemic) to draw up a comprehensive cultural policy for Delhi. For this, an advisory panel comprising industry experts, community leaders and officers should be formed,” said the document signed by Sanjay Jain, deputy secretary in the government’s art and culture department.

Deputy chief minister Manish Sisodia, who is also in charge of the art and culture portfolio in Delhi, told Hindustan Times, “For the last few years, we have been working continuously on several aspects of Delhi’s art and culture policy — especially on funding, audience and artistes. During the Covid-19 pandemic, artistes have suffered and the government has not been able to organise programmes for them. This will change, and in the coming time, we are going to further expand the cultural landscape of Delhi by connecting art and culture with livelihood.”

Sisodia’s office said this is the first such panel under the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) government. It will be chaired by a secretary-rank officer.

“In the coming time, we will organise workshops for the art and culture community on a range of subjects — from sound engineering to use of social media to promote work,” said Abhinandita Mathur, an advisor to Sisodia and a member of the advisory panel.

Pooja Sood, a Delhi-based art curator and member of the panel, said, “Our aim will be to make art and culture more inclusive and accessible to the people of Delhi. This is a good opportunity. For the next few weeks, we shall brainstorm over a number of issues to ensure that the vision of the panel is achieved.”

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