KALIDAS SAMAROH – Preparatory meeting witnesses verbal duel between Govt officers, non-govt members

Ujjain : Noisy scenes coupled with verbal duels dominated the proceedings of the local Akhil Bharatiya Kalidas Samaroh organising committee meeting here on Saturday afternoon. Non-government members appeared peeved over their neglect, while principal secretary (PS), culture, Manoj Shrivastava, looked highly concerned over the thin audience, during the 7-day function which has maintained its  international repute since its inception, leading to a verbal confrontation. The meeting which lasted for about 100 minutes in the presence of prominent persons from different fields ended without any significant conclusion.

This year’s Kalidas Samaroh will be organised between October 31 (Prabodhini Ekadashi) and November 6 under the joint aegis of the Government of Madhya Pradesh, Vikram Vishwavidyalaya, Kalidas Sanskrit Academy and Madhya Pradesh Sanskrati Parishad. According to PS Shrivastava, President of India Ramnath Kovind is most likely to be the chief guest of inaugural ceremony.

Vice-president M Venkaiah Naidu and Lok Sabha Speaker Sumitra Mahajan will be invited for the valedictory function. Last year about Rs 78.20 lakhs were spent on hosting the event whereas Rs 93 lakh is expected to be spent this year. The PS said that audience management is the tough task to achieve for the Samaroh. “Performing artists and visiting scholars used to express frustration over thin presence of audience. On the government’s part, we can spend money as per requirement and can also manage highly reputed artists, but we cannot engineer audience,” he said.

Soon after this comment of PS Shrivastava, members of the committee including politicians, intellectuals, artists and journalists started counting the shortcomings of the organisers (government). They cited non-posting of full-time director of Kalidas Academy, delay in finalisation of artists and guests, delayed distribution of invitation cards, sub-standard cultural presentations, favouritism, unnecessary expenditures, etc, as the reasons behind declining glory of the Kalidas Samaroh.

The members also complained that their suggestions are never noted down nor did anybody try to execute them and mere eyewash was done in the name of convening such meetings. The PS was unhappy with such submissions and commented that minor mistakes should not be given weightage as Kalidas was a legacy of Ujjain. Divisional commissioner MB Ojha, Maharishi Panini Sanskrit evam Vedic Vishwavidyalaya VC Prof RC Panda and veteran astrologer Pt Anand Shankar Vyas were among those present.

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