Promotion of traditional and cultural activities


An important decision taken by the UT Government of Jammu and Kashmir in the month of July this year about promotion of traditional and cultural activities across the UT, has seen no headway during the five long months. Though even the requisite funds were released for the ambitious scheme to not only revitalise such activities but in fact, with intent to reviving them, yet results have eluded the initiative. The fact that five months is too short a period to really come up with some realisation of the broader aspects of the scheme may be true only qualifiedly as during this period, at least all the formalities etc as prescribed in the scheme, could have been completed. However, the other part of the problem is, critically but quite unfortunately speaking, an inquisitive interest and liking for holding such events gradually waning and the thrust is instead on activities other than those and largely confined to being glued to internet aides and allied activities visa-vis the social media platforms. Most of the people, therefore, found more interested in activities confined to smart phones have, consequently less interest or time for activities related to roots hence promoting of culture and traditions taking a backseat. Not outside the purview of the issue, the fact of the sense of belonging to a tradition and a culture except, of course broadly, is not that intense which we used to watch or hear from elders. Once such a scenario takes deep roots especially in the younger generation, most of whom are not feeling proud of the mother native tongue even, speaks not well about the future of the fate of those symbols, marks and signs still standing tall depicting our past glory . By only physically visiting such places and holding cultural and traditional events laced with all local characteristics intermittently, can such symbols and marks remain more alive and embedded deep in people’s psyche and minds to invoke reverential feelings towards them. Therefore, if an initiative is taken by the Government in promoting traditional and cultural activities for which Jammu and Kashmir has all along been known well, not only those helming the administration but the general public too should wholeheartedly welcome it. It is only by practicing and actively participating in such activities that our culture and tradition can survive as a continuous legacy and carried forward to generations after generations. It is to be noted that just a sort of aide – memoire cannot be there to help us in anyway as to what and when to do in this respect. Beyond hankering after materialistic pursuits, we must strive to be conservative and unrelenting about our identity and thwart attempts to dilute or change it. Identity comprises our rich culture, our traditions , our festivals, our religious rites , spiritual pursuits and ways, our mother tongue and its promotion, our attire, our peculiar cuisine, our folk music, our traditional dance and the list is endless. That the response to the preliminaries about the scheme sanctioned and funds too provided by the Government, reportedly being a zilch from Kashmir division and lukewarm equally from Jammu region as well or at best quite late, speaks how in perspective, such a non-political initiative of the Government has received the overall response. The district administration had to highlight with special importance to each tradition and culture along with relevant photographs etc, as detailed in the scheme, and submit the same to Divisional Level Committees. The administration is required to take into confidence and involve all such organisations having a stake to make a start from somewhere. It could automatically have got an acceleration effect but when no required enthusiasm has been demonstrated, pumping the same would be a metaphoric exercise. We must promote our composite culture together and exhibit it beyond limited environs and must share with people coming in contact via tourism or otherwise with us. Culture and traditions , it may well be appreciated, have intrinsic value and are generating social and economic benefits. Individuals and societies like this come together and are reinforcing a value system. At least, now, the district administration of both the regions can treat these lines as a sort of a reminder to proceed further in the matter with the desired Action Plan so that the scheme could be implemented soon. It can’t be appreciated that the current financial year is heading towards its conclusion and hardly a period of three months is left within which such activities could take place failing which the funds provided for, would stand lapsed as not spent on the specific purpose and as such, the ambitious scheme going into an oblivion