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Assam's failure to provide land leads S-NE centre to shift to Agartala

Sentinel Digital DeskBy : Sentinel Digital Desk

  |  1 March 2015 12:00 AM GMT

With reports of the S-NE Centre being shifted to Agartala, the plight of Gogoi is no less pathetic than 'giving a dog a bad me and hanging him'

By our Staff Reporter

GUWAHATI, February 28: The instances of giving government lands to private parties, mostly to industrialists, at throwaway prices have given the Tarun Gogoi-led Congress Government in Assam a bad me. The same 'generous' Gogoi has, however, failed to provide a plot of land to the Sangeet tak Akademi's North East Centre (S-NE Centre) over the years that has its office in a rented building at Beltola in Guwahati. Now with reports of the S-NE Centre being shifted to Agartala, the plight of Gogoi is no less pathetic than 'giving a dog a bad me and hanging him'.

Sources in the S-NE Centre said: "We met Assam Chief Minister several times for land for the permanent office complex of this centre, but to no avail. We also met the Directorate of Cultural Affairs, Assam many times for the purpose, but to no avail. Even now, when a decision has been taken to shift this centre to Agartala, the Assam Chief Minister and his Cultural Minister Bishmita Gogoi haven't reacted to it as yet."

"In fact, the Assam Government can't bring such a centre to Guwahati on its own. We the employees of the centre were the ones who were behind shifting S-NE Centre to Guwahati in October, 2011 showing its central location and easy connectivity for all the folk artistes of the Northeast," they said, and added: "Had the Assam Government earned this centre by the sweat of its brow, it would have done enough to keep it here in Guwahati."

Meanwhile, the Axom Jatiya Ga Sangram Parishad (AJGSP) said in a release issued to the press today that the Sangeet tak Akademi set up the Xattriya Kendra (centre for Xattriya dance, music, and theatre traditions) at Guwahati on 15 July 2008 to promote, propagate and preserve these traditions. The Akademi then set up its North East Centre (S-NE Center) in Shillong on August 20, 2008 for preserving the traditiol and folk performing art traditions of the Northeast. The office of this centre was subsequently shifted to Guwahati in October, 2011 due to its central location and ease of communication for all the folk artistes of the Northeast.

However, according to the Parishad, it is a matter of concern now that a move is on to shift this NE Centre from Guwahati to Agartala. "Having been appraised of this matter from some informal sources, we filed an RTI with Ministry of Culture, Government of India on January 28. Our RTI application was duly acknowledged as received on January 29, 2015," said chief convener of the Parishad Dr. Aroop Jyoti Kalita and conveners Dr. Shyamal Kr Bhuyan, Dilwar Hussain, Debajit Adhikari, Mukut Lochan Kalita, Biplab Bhattacharjee and others. They, however, said that there was no response to the RTI application as yet.

It, they said, has been reported in various media in the past few days that the process of shifting of the present office of S-NE Centre from Guwahati to Agartala is at an advanced stage. "Shifting of this centre to Agartala will lead to serious hurdles for all the traditiol and folk artistes of the entire Northeast due to its location and connectivity issues. In fact, the office was shifted from Shillong to Guwahati because of its location and better connectivity from all parts of the region," the AJGSP conveners said and sought the intervention of the Ministry of Culture and the PMO in this regard.

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