Govt revamps culture board, brings in members with BJP leanings
The NDA government has reconstituted the Central Advisory Board on Culture and increased the number of its members by more than double, bringing in people mostly associated with the BJP.
The panel now consists of the likes of actor Anupam Kher, husband of BJP MP Kirron Kher and a vocal supporter of the government, noted classical dancer Sonal Mansingh, and former Jharkhand and Bihar governor in the NDA regime M Rama Jois.
The move comes months after the NDA-government reconstituted the management of Indira Gandhi National Centre for the Arts (IGNCA), bringing in veteran Hindi journalist and RSS ideologue Ram Bahadur Rai as its head.
The new board, which was constituted recently, had its first meeting on October 22. The 23-member panel under the chairmanship of Culture Minister Mahesh Sharma, also has flautist Pt Hari Prasad Chaurasia, vocalists Pt Rajan Mishra and Pt Channu Lal Misra, who was the proposer for Modi’s Lok Sabha candidature from Varanasi, and santoor player Pt Shiv Kumar Sharma on board.
“This (revamping of the board) is a routine process,” Culture Minister Mahesh Sharma said when asked about the reconstitution. On increasing the number of members in the panel from 11 in the UPA regime to 23 now, he said, “It (the number of members) is within the rules. People who are experts in their respective fields are given a place in the board.”