Folk artists ignored at Shimla Summer Festival

Shimla: The organizers of international summer festival in Shimla once again ignored local talent and folk artists by not inviting many of them to perform at the festival that could have given them a much needed opportunity to showcase their potential.

The summer festival which concluded two days ago, many singers and artists of Bollywood were invited for which they paid lakhs.

A large sum of money is being spent on such festivals every year for the purpose of entertaining tourists, but inviting the local folk artists and showing the state’s own culture and tradition to the tourists could be more entertaining along with different, as the local folk songs and dance could be a special treat to the tourists.

Folk artists from Himachal Pradesh preform at a Tribal Festival
Folk artists from Himachal Pradesh perform at a Tribal Festival

According to a folk artist Jeet Ram who has also worked in Song and Drama Division of Shimla which was established in 1952, “Now days, people prefer to watch artificial art on television or other new media within four walls of their house. There was the time when people used to gather at any open place and enjoy the live performances by local or folk artists.”

He said that this trend had resulted in a sharp downfall of the folk media and the folk artists.

Beauty pageant at  2013 Shimla Summer Festival
Beauty pageant at 2013 Shimla Summer Festival

The condition of such artists is so bad that they are not finding opportunity to give expression to their latent talent.

Daler Mehndi at 2013 Shimla Summer Festival
Daler Mehndi at 2013 Shimla Summer Festival

Moreover government is also showing its ignorance and not providing sufficient budget to the Song and Drama Division of Shimla because of which the number of programs organized by this department is decreasing day by day.

Shivani Kaushal, a student, who is conducting research on the folk media said, “There are so many reasons for the downfall of the folk artists among which the indifferent attitude of the people towards these artists is most responsible.”

In local functions like summer festival organized by the local authorities, these folk artists should be invited which will satisfy various purposes like it will cost much lesser than the amount that has to pay for the performances of Bollywood artists. And it will also help these unpopular talented artists to show their art, says Shivani.

Photo: Amit

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