After organising panchayats for various sections of the society, the state government is now making efforts to reach them culturally as well. With assembly elections hardly three months away, the state government has constituted Bhojpuri Sahitya Academy and Punjabi Sahitya Academy, which would be working under culture department.
The decision of constituting academies bore fruits immediately: Bhojpuri Ekta Manch held a meeting on Wednesday and decided to felicitate chief minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan for the decision.
“There are estimated 16 lakh Bhojpuri people living in Madhya Pradesh. Bhopal, Indore, Satna, Jabalpur, Gwalior and Guna have sizeable population of Bhojpuris,” said Kunwar Prasad, president of Bhojpuri Ekta Manch. Prasad accepted that this step of the government would create a soft corner for BJP.
On the other hand, spokesperson of Gurudwara Prabhandhak Committee Gurucharan Singh Arora, welcoming the decision of constituting Punjabi Sahitya Academy, said Sikhs have not benefited from minority commission. “Sikhs of Madhya Pradesh do not enjoy the benefits given to reserve categories of Sikhs as in another state. I hope Punjabi Sahitya Academy does not function like that,” Arora said.
Sikhs constitute 1.9% of total population in India, according to 2001 census. The spokesperson said population of Sikhs have increased considerably- probably more than double since 2001. It is important to mention that Punjabi is wider term that includes numbers of non-Sikhs as well.
The culture department already has academies dedicated to promote Sindhi, Marathi, Hindi and Sanskrit languages. It also has an academy for folk dialects known as Adivasi Lok Kala Evam Boli Vikas Akadmi.
DIRECTORS’ NAME OUT
Culture department announced the names of directors of the newly constituted academies also. While Nawal Shukla was appointed as director of Bhojpuri Sahitya Academy, Hari Bhatnagar was declared director of Punjabi Sahitya Academy.
Both the newly appointed directors while talking to HT said they would be holding a meeting of prominent representatives of both the communities separately and then discuss the future strategy. “Bhojpuri culture has an important role and contribution to diverse culture of the state.
Endeavour of the academy would be to promote literature, sculpture, music, dance and other cultural aspects of Bhojpuri society and to provide platform to the budding artists,” said Nawal Shukla, director of Bhojpuri Sahitya Academy.