Home » Jawaharlal Nehru Manipur Dance Academy in shambles over “fraudulent” practices

Jawaharlal Nehru Manipur Dance Academy in shambles over “fraudulent” practices

by Rinku Khumukcham
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Jawaharlal Nehru Manipur Dance Academy in shambles over “fraudulent” practices

IT News
Imphal, June 23:

The Jawaharlal Nehru Manipur Dance Academy (JNMDA), renowned for its significant contributions to Manipuri dance and music on a global stage, finds itself embroiled in controversy, with its Director in Charge facing recommendations for removal due to serious allegations of misconduct. Allegations have surfaced against the current Director in Charge, Bilash Singh, accusing him of various malpractices. These include altering his date of birth on multiple occasions, assuming his position without a formal appointment order, and unilaterally appointing himself as the head of the production unit.
These accusations have been highlighted by prominent artists from the state, who have expressed concerns that “the actions of the Director in Charge have compromised the integrity and ethos of this prestigious Imphal-based dance academy.” They have formally lodged complaints and submitted memoranda to relevant authorities, including the Governor, who serves as the academy’s chairperson. Investigations into Bilash’s conduct reportedly substantiate these allegations.
According to documents revealed by a reliable source, “Bilash initially joined the academy as a junior dancer on a contractual basis in December 2005 and ascended to the position of Director in Charge in 2020 through questionable means. As he seeks confirmation as the full-fledged director, scheduled for an imminent interview, numerous artists and enthusiasts are urging authorities to disqualify him, citing his controversial past.”
Y Bhumeshwar Singh, a recipient of the Sangeet Natak Akademi (Yuva) award, has accused Bilash of “disrespecting senior Gurus and teachers following his dubious appointment.” He alleges that Bilash’s actions included suspending a renowned Guru, who had mentored him, over trivial reasons—a decision later overturned with intervention from the Sangeet Natak Akademi, New Delhi.
Another allegation concerns the manipulation of Bilash’s date of birth records. “His date of birth was documented differently across various official records—01/08/1970 for a national badminton tournament, 01/08/1975 on his Indian passport, and 01/03/1982 in his service records.” This inconsistency was subsequently rectified in his passport to match his service records, as noted in his updated passport dated 25.11.2022.
Furthermore, there are concerns regarding Bilash’s appointment. “An RTI reply revealed that he joined the academy in December 2005 without any formal appointment order,” as stated by an artist familiar with the matter.
A memorandum from Apunba Imagi Machasing (AIMS) to the then-Governor La Ganshan on March 25, 2022, underscored the academy’s deterioration in the absence of a regular director. It demanded the immediate appointment of a qualified interim director until a permanent appointment could be made. According to one artist, “former Pradhan Guru and previous Director in Charge, the late S Thanil Singh, had already alerted authorities to the academy’s decline following the retirement of Director L Upendro Sharma. He also questioned Bilash’s qualifications and suitability for the director’s role.”
In response to these revelations, the Principal Private Secretary to the Governor has recommended Bilash’s immediate removal and the appointment of an interim director.
According to a reliable source, “this recommendation follows an inquiry conducted at the behest of the Governor to safeguard the institution’s prestige and uphold the dignity of JNMDA.” These sources have alleged that that his continued leadership jeopardizes the academy’s dignity and the state’s cultural prestige.

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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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