For the LOVE OF ART

SATIN­DER SATTI, CHAIR­PER­SON OF THE PUN­JAB ARTS COUN­CIL ON THE CAM­PAIGN AGAINST HER AP­POINT­MENT

India Today - - ART - By SUKANT DEEPAK n

Poet and an­chor Satin­der Satti, who took over as chair­per­son of the Pun­jab Arts Coun­cil in Oc­to­ber 2015 has man­aged to con­vince the Pun­jab gov­ern­ment to pass an or­der that makes it manda­tory for mul­ti­plex own­ers in Chandigarh and Pun­jab to screen at least one show of Pun­jabi films in a day. “This will be in­stru­men­tal in giv­ing a boost to young film­mak­ers who are not backed by pow­er­ful pro­duc­ers. The younger gen­er­a­tion of Pun­jabi film­mak­ers have been plead­ing for a long time for ded­i­cated shows in mul­ti­plexes,” she says.

How­ever, for this 39-year-old poet and an­chor, orig­i­nally from Batala in Pun­jab, who has rep­re­sented the state in dif­fer­ent in­ter­na­tional artis­tic fo­rums, tak­ing over as chair­per­son of the Pun­jab Arts Coun­cil in Chandigarh was marked by much crit­i­cism. “Many so-called es­tab­lished Pun­jabi artists com­plained that I was too young for this post. They in­sisted that I would not be able to do jus­tice to the po­si­tion. All this, even be­fore I en­tered the office. I just don’t un­der­stand how can tal­ent and in­tel­li­gence be di­rectly pro­por­tion­ate to age? Hasn’t this or­gan­i­sa­tion seen sev­eral so-called ex­pe­ri­enced peo­ple who have failed to do any­thing for the artists? I was deeply hurt. Ev­ery­body just brushed aside my 16 years of con­tri­bu­tion. Where is it writ­ten that only those who have crossed their prime are equipped to han­dle a re­spon­si­ble po­si­tion?”

Stress­ing that her aim is to make the Pun­jab Arts Coun­cil a bridge be­tween artists and the state gov­ern­ment, Satti says that

“Many so-called es­tab­lished Pun­jabi artists com­plained that I was too young for this post.They in­sisted that I would not be able to do jus­tice to the po­si­tion. SATIN­DER SATTI, CHAIR­PER­SON, PUN­JAB ARTS COUN­CIL

as soon as she came in, her pri­or­ity was to get a sys­tem in place. “Staff mem­bers were rein­tro­duced to their re­spon­si­bil­i­ties and a team of ex­perts from dif­fer­ent fields was put into place. For ex­am­ple, the­atre di­rec­tor Ke­wal Dhali­wal­was was made pres­i­dent of the The­atre and Folk­lore De­part­ment, and pho­tog­ra­pher Di­wan Manna pres­i­dent of the Pun­jab Lalit Kala Akademi. Also, when I came in, the Coun­cil didn’t have enough funds. In just a few months, I as­cer­tained that our an­nual grant was re­leased.”

Plan­ning to in­tro­duce fel­low­ships for bud­ding artists and pro­vid­ing space for free work­shops, Satti is all set to build a com­puter room and meet­ing room for artists at the premises. Talk to her about the lack of cul­tural pol­icy in the state, and she is quick to say, “I have been ex­hort­ing the gov­ern­ment for quite some time for this.” The poet and an­chor says that the same will help in clearly defin­ing the gov­ern­ment’s role and re­spon­si­bil­i­ties to­wards art and cul­ture and its prac­ti­tion­ers. “We will soon have a panel from dif­fer­ent fields—the­atre, film, dy­ing arts, bud­ding and ex­pe­ri­enced artists and ex­perts in trans­la­tion, who will come for­ward with their sug­ges­tions.”

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