The formation of an advisory committee for setting up a sub-centre of Lalit Kala Akademi (LKA) in Puducherry under Meera Kataria, daughter-in-law of Lieutenant Governor Virendra Kataria, has met with objections from the Federation for People’s Rights (FPR), which has demanded its withdrawal.
The committee is not only improper but also has not been formed in a transparent way, said G Sugumaran, secretary of FPR. The 10-member committee appointed by LKA on January 31 comprises Meera Kataria as honorary convener. The other members of the committee are: Auroville Foundation secretary Bala Baskar, Sadanand Menon from Chennai, K Muralidharan from Chennai, HoD of Fine Arts from Bharathiar Palkalaikoodam Sirpi Jayaraman, S Adhavan, Vijaya Venugopalan and ex-officio members R M Palaiappan, who is also the secretary, regional centre of LKA at Chennai and Director, Art and Culture, Government of Puducherry.
The Puducherry government had no role in the appointment of the committee and neither had it made any recommendations for inclusion of members, according to sources. Four members of the committee, including the convener, do not belong to Puducherry, while some other members are not associated with art and culture. “It is a fundamental requirement for the committee,” says Sugumaran.
It was appointed after LKA Chairman K K Chakravarty sent a letter to Chief Minister N Rangasamy apprising him about its decision to set up an advisory committee under the Regional Centre of LKA at Chennai in consultation with the Regional Centre. After the appointment it was conveyed to the Puducherry government on February 18 by LKA.
Now the Directorate of Art and Culture has sent a proposal to the government for establishing the sub-centre. A space in the Office of Chairman, Tourism Development Corporation on Beach Road has been identified for setting up the office of the sub-centre, sources said.
Even earlier in 1999, branches of LKA and Sangeet Natak Akademi were set up in Puducherry. But no one really knows what has been the contribution of the two chapters, said Suguraman. Charging the Lt Governor with violation of his oath of office which is to act without ‘fear or favour’, he termed it as “abuse of power”. The FPR, which has petitioned the President in this regard, has urged the government to come out with a clear draft of the objectives of the sub-centre of LKA with clear regulations and financial implications and make it available to the public through physical and electronic means.
After getting sufficient feedback and making necessary alteration, the process of the formation of the Subcentre of the LKA will be finalised, said Sugumaran.
The Akademi could call for applications through the government from interested persons and process the same in the most transparent manner for appointment of the committee.