Maneka Gandhi Wins Battle of the Bahus
NEW DELHI:The two Gandhi bahus had fought over this institution named after their mother-in-law. Maneka Gandhi has the last laugh as this NDA Government, determined to wipe out all Gandhi family touch from government institutions, has decided to rename it the ‘National Centre for Arts’ erasing ‘Indira Gandhi’ from the name.
The Modi Government—“totally dissatisfied” with the current contributions of the Indira Gandhi National Centre for the Arts (IGNCA) to the world of art—has decided for a total overhaul of the institution. Apart from renaming, 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, IGNCA is situated in a sprawling 25-acre campus next to the India Gate right at the heart of capital city. It was initially conceived on a grand scale as a resource centre on arts and culture, major venue for exhibitions and performances, but over the time it had got reduced to an institution used by different regimes to find berths for their favourites.
“IGNCA, given its prime location and resources, could be turned it to 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 IGNCA “the heart” of all cultural institutions, including various Akademis which are now spread across the capital. The vacant spots in 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 centrally air-conditioned behemoth with its interiors boasting giant pillars and cavernous halls houses around 320-odd staff whose contributions are yet to make any impressions.
“We are determined to ensure that IGNCA will get a prime spot in the national and international cultural map,” said the source.