Government reconstitutes IGNCA trust, Congress cries foul

New Delhi, April 14 (IANS) The government on Thursday reconstituted the Indira Gandhi National Centre for the Arts (IGNCA) trust, appointing senior journalist Ram Bahadur Rai as its president.

The move comes exactly a year after the Narendra Modi government revamped the Nehru Memorial Museum Library Society (NMMLS), considered a Congress legacy. The NMMLS reconstitution was done in April last year.

Rai, former news editor of Hindi daily Jansatta, replaces former diplomat Chinmaya Gharekhan. A culture ministry statement said that the reconstitution was being done with immediate effect.

While the government said that the new board will enhance the fame of Indira Gandhi National Centre for Arts, the Congress slammed the move.

The 19 members of the newly constituted board include dancer Sonal Mansingh, Bollywood lyricist Prasoon Joshi and artist Vasudeo Kamath.

Culture Minister Mahesh Sharma said the new appointees were “deserving people”.

“Ram Bahadur is a well known journalist and deserving as well. Such people will increase the fame of the institute,” the minister said.

However, Congress leader Anand Sharma said it was another “step of undermining the established institutions”.

“We strongly criticise this development as they have done these things previously as well. This is the pre-determined agenda of not only the government but also its parent organisation RSS,” Sharma said.

“This government’s agenda is divisive, diversionary, diabolic and it has mindset of confrontation. The prime minister talks of taking everyone along but his government has acted in a manner which has only created conflicts and divisions in the polity,” he added.

The newly constituted board also has Chandraprakash Dwivedi, Nitin Desai, K. Arvinda Rao, Mahesh Chandra Sharma, Bharat Gupta, M. Seshan, Rati Vinay Jha, Nirmala Sharma, Harsh Neotia, Padma Subrahmaniam, Saryu Doshi, D.P. Sinha and Viraj Yagnik.

The IGNCA was launched on November 19, 1985 by the late prime minister Rajiv Gandhi in memory of his mother and former prime minister Indira Gandhi.

IGNCA was established in 1987 as an autonomous institution under the ministry of culture as a centre for research and academic pursuit in the field of arts.

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