STATE TIMES NEWS JAMMU: Accusing J&K Tourism Department of suppressing and subverting the rich culture, language and traditions of Dogra land during the three-day Jammu Mahotsav, JKNPP Chairman and former Minister, Harsh Dev Singh said that the much trumpeted festival had deeply hurt the sentiments of Jammu people by dishonouring local artists. He said that the organisers of the programme miserably failed to project the cultural ethos and traditional art forms of Dogras and promoted non-Dogra events and culture, thereby creating massive resentment amongst the Dogras. Rather than promoting local talent, the artists from Punjab and Kashmir were projected as the major attraction which had caused embitterment amongst the local artists, said Singh. The festival aimed at promoting rich culture, heritage and traditions of Dogra land was high-jacked by outsiders with major focus on Sherry-Maan and Abha Hanjura, rued Harsh. Maintaining that Dogri language and history has always been downplayed by Kashmir dominated political and administrative set up in the State, Singh said that there were several instances to prove the shabby, humiliating treatment doled out to Dogras on ethnic and linguistic lines. Not only Dogri, but other languages of Jammu region including Gojri, Pahari, Gaddi, etc had also met the same fate at the hands of anti-Jammu lobby in the Govt, he added. ‘Jammu Mahotsva’ utterly failed to showcase any of the said languages and their rich culture which was in-fact the main objective of organising the mega event. Strongly flaying the Tourism Department for making a mockery of people of Jammu especially its traditional artists, Singh said that the organisers of the programme owed an explanation and an apology from people of Jammu for disrespecting their sentiments. “With millions spent on the function, they only promoted and glorified the non-Dogra folks and culture. They must always remember that J&K State is the creation of Dogra rulers and warriors who scripted sagas of valour by their countless sacrifices. Their contributions are acknowledged not only in the Indian subcontinent but the world over with several of them having become history unto themselves. Likewise our Dogri writers, singers, poets, artists, thinkers, philosophers and sculptors, etc have earned name and fame at global level which is a matter of pride for all Dogras. Such legacies could be carried forward only by promoting Dogri language and culture which however failed to find appropriate space in the said festival”, regretted Singh.
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