Nagpur: A bizarre event organised by city’s known cultural organisation – South Central Zone Cultural Centre last month has stirred the hornet’s nest, thanks to its weird reply given against RTI filed by few activists here. The event named Mahamurkh Sammelan organised on Fool’s Day April 1 2016 has drawn bitter opposition from many city dignitaries who termed the event as a sheer waste of resources at a time when Maharashtra is reeling under severe drought.
Talking to Nagpur Today, one of the senior Journalists and RTI activist Umesh Chaubey alleged that the programme was organised to please selected people. “The programme aimed at encouraging laughter was organized in such a region where the people at large are facing drought and the farmers are committing suicide,” he said.
He said the Centre is only authorised to conduct events which are in its scheduled list whereas the type of event which it chose to conduct doesn’t have any mention it the prescribed list which only include programmes that promote folk art and traditional art forms.
Advertisements under scanner
Umesh Chubey went on to question the veracity of the advertisements published by the Central Government in various newspapers. He claimed that the Advertisement published by the Central Government in the newspapers claimed this Mahamurkh Sammelan organized on April 1, 2016 as the National Festival. Umesh Chaubey has filed for information through RTI demanding to know which other National Festivals exists besides August 15 and January 26.
While speaking about his query, Umesh Chaubey told Nagpur Today that he was informed that the Guardian Minister of the District and the Chief Minister were also informed about the programme.
He was informed that this programme got an approval of the members of the Ministry of Culture, Central Government. The programme schedule has all the pre-approved programmes of the centre but has no mention of the National Mahamurkh Sammelan.
A query on the expenses incurred for this Mahamurkh Sammelan programme was also sought. He was informed that a total of 1, 55,550/- (One lakh fifty five thousand five hundred and fifty) is mentioned. It was also informed that a total of 1743 people had attended the Mahamurkh Sammelan. Of this 1743 people, 719 people got a free entry.
Many reputed personalities and poets of Hindi language had participated in this programme. These reputed poets were paid a sum of Rs 3 lakhs five thousand (3, 05,000/-).
Chaubey has demanded to know through RTI the following:
- The name of programme being called as Mahamurkh Sammelan.
- The basis of celebrating April 1, as the National Festival,
- The Advertisement of a programme to be held in Hindi published in English,
The answer he received was “an idiot person can do anything anywhere at anytime”.
It is surprising to receive an answer from an organization which organizes programmes to promote our Indian culture.
According to Chaubey, if the Chief Minister is aware about this programme, are the organization which is replying (“an idiot person can do anything anywhere at any-time”) thus, are they proving the Chief Minister a fool?
Chaubey also alleged that the present attitude of the South Central Zone Cultural Centre is quite opposite to the very objectives with which the organization was established.
The aims and objectives of the SCZCC are to preserve the rich folk, cultural and traditional art forms and to create awareness among the masses about the cultural heritage and happenings. Instead of this the Centre seems to be involved in organizing wasteful programmes and in the name of comedy making fun and insulting mute animals and in the name of entertainment presenting any thrash.
RTI Activist Umesh Chaubey claimed that this programme was an utter waste of money and will soon be filing a Public Interest Litigation in the High Court against the programme.