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Preserving and promoting culture: hopes and concerns

by IT Web Admin
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Putting much speculation and cynicisms to rest, the state government inaugurated not one but two institutions after completion, as assured earlier. The Manipur University of Culture, established through an Act of Manipur State Assembly- The Manipur University of Culture Bill 2015, will endeavor to serve the people of Manipur in terms of cultural studies, a fitting and deserving compliment for a state as culturally rich and varied as Manipur. The university which is only the second such university in the entire country after Odisha will have eight different courses. Established ‘to protect and safeguard the beautiful cultures and traditions of our people for the future generations’ as the Chief Minister puts it, the university of culture will certainly be a catalyst in efforts to propagate and showcase the kaleidoscope of cultures and myriad customs thriving in the state thereby making it possible to draw the attention of the world for reasons other than the ones for which we are reluctantly the focus at present. In fact, if Manipur has to be introduced to the rest of the world, it could only truly be through its unique and varied cultural wealth accumulated in such forms as dance, music, songs, narrative and performing arts, martial traditions, folk arts, courtyard theatres, costumes and ornaments etc.
The State Film and Television Institute in Manipur also occupies place of pride as it is only the third such institute in the country after Pune and Kolkata. Interestingly, the think tank at the centre initially chose Arunachal Pradesh for establishment of the Institute, and an incident where Manipur Chief Minister Ibobi, during the meeting of Chief Ministers of the North Eastern states with Home Minister Rajnath Singh at Guwahati last year vehemently registered his protest on the decision and was quoted as saying “We make maximum regional movies in the Northeast. In fact, my state has produced nearly 60 national award-winning films. Despite that, Arunachal Pradesh was granted the new film institute,” might have forced the reconsideration. Eminent Manipuri film maker Aribam Syam Sharma also urged the GOI to consider the history, achievements and future prospects of the institute while awarding the prestigious national institute when I&B Ministry announced the proposal for establishing the country’s third National film & Television Institute (FTII) in one of the NE States.
The twin developments of establishing the Culture University and Film Institute are a positive indication of the progress and advancement that the state can make towards preserving, restoring and promote the rich cultural heritage of the state and a timely step to bring positive and necessary changes in the society through the powerful medium of films. But amidst the hopes and expectations, there still remains a lingering doubt about the future of these prestigious institutes given the long and unfortunate path such important institutes have taken in the state.

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Imphal Times is a daily English newspaper published in Imphal and is registered with Registrar of the Newspapers for India with Regd. No MANENG/2013/51092


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