The Telegraph
Saturday , November 17 , 2012
Since 1st March, 1999
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Unfair plan forfeits a fair chance
- Slothful state vulnerable to culture shock in Delhi

Blame it on shoddy planning, if Jharkhand cuts a sorry figure with its culture caper at the ongoing India International Trade Fair in New Delhi.

The art and culture department, entrusted with the lenient task of handpicking the best folk dance troupe from across the 24 districts of the state, managed to advertise an invite just 24 hours before, resulting in a trickle of artistes at the screening on Friday.

Only half a dozen folk troupes — two each from Ranchi and Seraikela, and one each from Lapung and Gumla — turned up for the morning audition at Kala Bhavan in Hotwar.

The Arjun Munda government plans to commemorate its Statehood Day at the Delhi fair with indigenous dance-drama capsules at a November 25 mega show. But, the publicity faux pas and lack of proper co-ordination with artistes may put the state to shame on national platform.

Sources in the department concerned conceded that advertisements came out only on Thursday, beckoning dance troupes to Friday’s final selection. Besides the last-minute invite, the government also didn’t bother to offer travel and accommodation expenses to poor dancers.

“So, quality participation cannot be expected. Since planning was not perfect, we were hoping to choose from at least 16-18 troupes in the worst case scenario. But here, the response has been worse than worst. We have to be content with what we have because there is no time to conduct auditions all over again,” said one candid official of the art and culture department.

Assistant director (culture) Vijay Kumar Paswan, who is co-ordinating the upcoming show, however, put up a brave face. “It is up to artistes to participate or not. The auditions, which began in the morning, are over. We have seen six teams performing dances like Mundari, Oraon and Chhau. The finalist will be decided by tomorrow (Saturday),” Paswan said.

He further added: “The aim of the event in Delhi is to depict Jharkhand’s unity in diversity. Those who have auditioned are seasoned artistes who have performed at various other places. So, there is no reason not to hope for a good show in Delhi.”

Once the team is finalised on Saturday, they will be given a couple of days — November 21 and 22 in all likelihood — for final rehearsals in Ranchi. The troupe will leave Jharkhand on November 23 and reach New Delhi the day after.

Paswan said the department had decided to pay each member of the selected dance troupe a daily allowance of Rs 400 on November 21, 22 and 25. “In addition, they will receive Rs 150 for food and other expenses during their train journey. We are also arranging for their free stay in Ranchi during the rehearsals,” he maintained.

Do you think the state will be able to put up a good show?