NEW DELHI: In the fight between the two Gandhi bahus over the institution named after their later mother-in-law, Maneka Gandhi has had the last laugh. The BJP-NDA Government, determined to wipe out the government institutions’ association with the Gandhi family name , has decided to remove Indira Gandhi’s name from the Indira Gandhi National Centre for the Arts (IGNCA) and rechristen it the ‘National Centre for the Arts’.
Narendra Modi Government, which is “totally dissatisfied” with the current contributions of the IGNCA to the world of art, has decided to carryout a total overhaul of the institution. Apart from the rechristening, the BJP-led Government has also decided to undertake a “review” to know whether the institution has been functioning as per the guidelines. The decision in this regard was taken earlier this month, and the Culture Ministry is waiting for the PMO nod.
Established by former Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi in 1987, the IGNCA is situated on a sprawling 25-acre campus next to the India Gate bang in the middle of the national capital. It was initially conceived on a grand scale as a resource centre on arts and culture and a major venue for exhibitions and performances, but over time was reduced to an institution used by different regimes to find berths for their favourites.
“The IGNCA, given its prime location and resources, could be turned into a numero uno cultural spot. What was happening here so far had been sheer wastage of money and cultural values. We are going to undo all that and would turn it into a major venue of arts and culture,” said a source in the government.
The government has also decided to make the IGNCA “the heart” of all cultural institutions, including various Akademis which are now spread across the capital. The vacant spots in the IGNCA, especially those facing the India Gate, would be transformed into a theatre complex which can be used by cultural institutions for their activities and performances. The institution, which had received Rs 100 crore of taxpayers’ money for buildings and Rs 50 crore as a corpus, has often been accused of doing less than its full potential for promoting art and culture. This air-conditioned behemoth houses around 320-odd staff whose contributions are yet to make any impression.
‘CAG rapped IGNCA for irregularities’
New Delhi: Ordering the probe, Woman and Child Development Minister Maneka had said that the IGNCA had been severely indicted by the Comptroller and Auditor General and that all its fiscal misappropriations had been ignored by various governments.