Govt Introduces Grading System For Artists, Writers; Can Art Be Ever Measured & Graded?
“Art should comfort the disturbed and disturb the comfortable..”
Pablo Picasso, the famous painter and sculptor and artist famously said that every child is an artist; but the problem is how to remain an artist once he grows up.
It seems that Indian Govt. wants to destroy the very basic nature of artists and make them enslave within ‘categories’ by grading them; just like the artistic capabilities of a child is destroyed by our society once he or she grows up.
In one of the most bizarre moves ever taken by Indian Govt., the Culture Ministry has decided to grade and rate artists based on superficial and completely random factors such as age, experience and popularity.
This move has been taken so that our Cultural Ministry, which is headed by bureaucrats and some ‘selected artists’ can easily determine which artists to send at important cultural festivals in exotic foreign locations.
In an insult to the very nature of art, and artists, Culture Ministry has decided to categorize artists within three bizarre boxes: Outstanding (O), Promising (P) and Waiting (W).
The ‘process’ of grading artists have been made pretty simple: Any Indian citizen who believes that he or she is an artist can visit the website of Centre for Cultural Resources and Training (CCRT), which is overseeing this grading process, and fill out a simple form, thereby highlighting the art that he or she is expert in.
As per reports, CCRT has already received 70 lakh entries, and out of them, some 185 odd artists have already been graded till now. An expert committee comprising of bureaucrats, ex-IAS officers and some selected artists are right now grading these artists, and determining their future.
Out of 185 graded artists till now, 46 were graded O, 112 were graded P, and 27 were put in the Waiting category. Some prominent names include: Kathak dancer Shovana Narayan (graded O), Padma Bhushan awardee and Carnatic musician TV Gopalakrishnan (graded O), Delhi-based Akshara Theatre group (graded O), and Kuchipudi exponent Shallu Jindal (graded P), who is the wife of Congress leader Naveen Jindal.
Art is an expression of the artist, a leap into the unknown, a generous offering which is devoid of any science or logic. It is really baffling how the Culture Ministry aims to grade and rate artists when the art itself cannot be measured.
It seems that the Ministry will conduct competitions at village level to churn out the best artists, besides announcing a corpus of Rs 40 crore which would be distributed as awards and gifts. Tracking and recording artists across the nation is definitely a good step, and encouraging them via awards and gifts is also great step.
But compartmentalizing them based on some pre-conceived notions and factors such as age and experience is a strange, bizarre move.
We will keep you updated as more details come in.