MALU SHARMA JAMMU: Jammu is already fighting for the existence of its language but Tourism Department instead of promoting Dogra Culture and language is leaving no stone unturned to dent the traditions and rich language of the region. The latest step in the stride to dislodge Dogra legacy is the so called Jammu Mahotsav, wherein ‘Jammu’ was seen totally missing. The way the Tourist Department showcased Jammu was totally unacceptable to the Jammuites. The major point of contention with regard to this event was the world of difference between what was projected about Jammu and what actually the Jammu stands for. The Department of Tourism must understand the fact that it is not necessary to just organise a function without knowing its importance and moreover the purpose behind organising the same.
‘Jammu’ missing in Jammu Mahotsav: Dogra Culture and Dogra Artists totally ignored
What were they trying to show in this three days event in which the major attraction was Abha Hanjura and Sharry Maan? People are annoyed and are feeling heartbroken due to Tourism Department’s strange way of promoting the rich cultural heritage of Jammu region ignoring local talent. The history has witnessed that Dogras have always been victimised by the politicians and the popular governments and such adverse agenda of Jammu and Kashmir Tourism will further ruin the Dogri language and its culture. One must understand the fact that without fostering the cultural heritage of the Jammu region, we cannot promote tourism. Social media was flooded with the comments by Jammuites against the Tourism Department indicating that the department has not only neglected the traditional art forms but also created a major resentment among the people of Jammu Region. It is pertinent to mention here that it was a well planned strategy to play with the sentiments of Dogras which will soon be lost in the tides of times proving that politicians and the government always take people of this region for granted. Our so called leaders who are always looking for an opportunity to glorify them missed the chance to raise the voice of Dogras. The culture of Jammu is being eroded and finally invaded by the outsiders but no leader came out of their cocoons and took stride to fight against such prejudice. President Dogri Sanstha, Professor Lalit Magotra shared that the Jammu Mahotsav in true spirit should be grand showcase of the cultural heritage of Jammu region but unfortunately like every year Jammu Mahotsav made a mockery of Jammu and its people. “What should have been a grand cultural event looked like a half hearted attempt to promote the culture of Jammu. The way festival was promoted and the hoardings were made, it looked more like a Punjabi concert. The resentment of the people against such events is obvious. There is a need to constitute a committee comprising people from fields like literature, culture, history, etc to plan such events as the concerned department seems to be novice and bereft of ideas,” he maintained adding, “The first preference should have been given to Dogri music, Dogra traditions, local singers”. Prominent Producer/ Director, Maloop Singh termed the event as wasteful exercise as the Mahotsav drastically failed in projecting even the iota rich culture and traditions of Jammu region. “The way Tourism Department projected the culture of Jammu region was nothing but a true example of mediocrity. Not even a single traditional artist was engaged for Jammu Mahotsav. The event was just for namesake like earlier years draining wastefully taxpayers’ hard earned money. Governor Satya Pal Malik should intervene in the matter and put a full-stop to this major conspiracy against Dogri language and culture of Duggarland. The variegated variety of Jammu region is not restricted to Jammu only, the districts comes under the jurisdiction of Jammu region also need to get promoted. Who knows what one can get in remotest area of Dacchan of district Kishtwar or the Mankote of district Poonch”, he said. Talking to STATE TIMES, Director Tourism, Jammu, O.P Bhagat straightaway denied the charge of neglecting Jammu in the aforesaid event. He clarified that except one Punjabi singer all other participants were locals and performances duly involved items promoting Jammu region. He alleged that certain vested interests have unleashed malicious campaign against the Tourism Department which has no basis at all. Making a point on the issue of highlighting outsiders on the hoardings of the aforesaid event, he said that decision in this regard was made by taking into account the popularity of the artists and their standing at the national level. Events like Jammu Mahotsav are meant for showcasing the legacy carried on by generations of Dogras but Tourism Department preferred to give platform to Punjabi singers through this medium. It is the time when Department of Tourism should stop obliging anti-Jammu people sitting in the government and come forward for the preservation of Jammu’s culture and promotion of its tourism. Dogra Culture, language and traditions are facing threat today as the Tourism Department instead of promoting the same is busy in organising events which are no way conneted with the rich legacy of the region.
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