Jammu Mahotsav 2019 is over. Without judging the success and failure of the festival, let us highlight what Jammu missed in the festival.
In an article written in the State Times, Malu Sharma writes:
The latest step in the stride to dislodge Dogra legacy is the so called Jammu Mahotsav, wherein ‘Jammu’ was seen totally missing. The way the Tourist Department showcased Jammu was totally unacceptable to the Jammuites. The major point of contention with regard to this event was the world of difference between what was projected about Jammu and what actually the Jammu stands for…
What were they trying to show in this three days event in which the major attraction was Abha Hanjura and Sharry Maan? People are annoyed and are feeling heartbroken due to Tourism Department’s strange way of promoting the rich cultural heritage of Jammu region ignoring local talent…
Social media was flooded with the comments by Jammuites against the Tourism Department indicating that the department has not only neglected the traditional art forms but also created a major resentment among the people of Jammu Region.
President Dogri Sanstha, Professor Lalit Magotra shared that the Jammu Mahotsav in true spirit should be grand showcase of the cultural heritage of Jammu region but unfortunately like every year Jammu Mahotsav made a mockery of Jammu and its people.
“What should have been a grand cultural event looked like a half hearted attempt to promote the culture of Jammu. The way festival was promoted and the hoardings were made, it looked more like a Punjabi concert. The resentment of the people against such events is obvious. There is a need to constitute a committee comprising people from fields like literature, culture, history, etc to plan such events as the concerned department seems to be novice and bereft of ideas,… The first preference should have been given to Dogri music, Dogra traditions, local singers” he maintained.
Prominent Producer/ Director, Maloop Singh termed the event as wasteful exercise as the Mahotsav drastically failed in projecting even the iota rich culture and traditions of Jammu region.
“The way Tourism Department projected the culture of Jammu region was nothing but a true example of mediocrity. Not even a single traditional artist was engaged for Jammu Mahotsav. The event was just for namesake like earlier years draining wastefully taxpayers’ hard earned money. Governor Satya Pal Malik should intervene in the matter and put a full-stop to this major conspiracy against Dogri language and culture of Duggarland. The variegated variety of Jammu region is not restricted to Jammu only, the districts comes under the jurisdiction of Jammu region also need to get promoted. Who knows what one can get in remotest area of Dacchan of district Kishtwar or the Mankote of district Poonch”, he said.
Director Tourism, Jammu, O.P Bhagat has straightaway denied the charge of neglecting Jammu in the aforesaid event. He clarified that except one Punjabi singer all other participants were locals and performances duly involved items promoting Jammu region. He alleged that certain vested interests have unleashed malicious campaign against the Tourism Department which has no basis at all. Making a point on the issue of highlighting outsiders on the hoardings of the aforesaid event, he said that decision in this regard was made by taking into account the popularity of the artists and their standing at the national level.
Mohd Yaseen Salaria, a prominent theatre artist of Natrang shared the following in another article:
… Crores of rupees are being thrown into drain and giving message to Jammu region that you are backward and we can’t promote our cultural legacy. Kudos to Department of Tourism for the way they are promoting the Tourism of Jammu region by promoting smalltime Punjabi singers instead of glorifying the true essence Dogra culture and ethos.
…To promote a singer from Punjab is sheer a wastage of money and Jammu is getting what they aren’t meant for. There are many big names who not only carried on the legacies of the culture and tradition of the Jammu region but also took the Jammu region to the global heights.
…J&K Tourism has failed to get the eminent faces of Jammu who are the ambassadors of the state like Pt. Shiv Kumar Sharma, Jatinder Singh, Radhika Chopra, Seema Sehgal, Sidarth Salathia, Kailash Mehra, Suresh Chauhan, Suraj Singh and many more.
…‘Rangla Jammu’ is one of the fine examples that showcased for years together after its first opening show at Mini Stadium, Parade in the year 2007 where it attracted thousands of visitors to Jammu.
The Jammu in Jammu Mahotsav-2019 is nothing but sheer demonstration of mediocrity. It looks as if it is a very well planned conspiracy to disgrace Dogras and people of Jammu. A region which is glorified globally is being showcased so poorly.
If Jammu can attract thousands of International audiences at Trafalgar Square, London, why can’t we bring the same for our own audiences? It simply looks that no thought has been given and a deliberate attempt is being made to abuse the very cultural face of Jammu.
It is up to the reader to come to conclusions as the points mentioned by the authors above do hold ground. We leave you with some pictures of the three-day event.