Manipur Sangai Festival-2018: Art and culture take a back seat
IMPHAL, 27th Nov: Now known as Manipur Sangai Festival, the celebration of the annual event started in 2010 with an aim to tap the tourism potentials of the state. And right from the very beginning, the rich cultural heritage and art forms of the state attracted many tourists to the festival. But in this year’s edition, it seems that art and culture have taken a back seat with the government failing to promote it in a proper manner.
Many of the staple features of the annual tourism festival related to art and culture of the state have not been organised in the on-going festival which started from November 21. Events like Sangai International Film Festival and Asian Theatre Festival which had been an integral part of the festival are not held this year. The Art Gallery which was facilitated in the previous edition is also absent from the venues of the Sangai Festival this year. In view of this, aficionados of art and culture have complained that the state government is not focusing on this front.
Visitors at the festival told The People’s Chronicle that it is very unfortunate that regular events like Sangai International Film Festival and Asian Theatre Festival have not been organised this year. The Art Gallery is also nowhere to be found. "If we really want to enhance the quality of the festival, the said events should be made part of the festival," they opined.
Manipur is known throughout the world by its unique art and culture; the state’s natural beauty, flora and fauna alone cannot attract tourists to the state. Effort should be made to draw in tourists with varied interests, the state’s ample art and culture can definitely appeal to tourists who are interested in this field, they maintained.
Even though Manipur is a small state, it is home to 37-38 communities whose unique traditions and culture can definitely draw in tourists to the state. Lack of promotion of art and culture this year should not be repeated again, the visitors suggested.
Meanwhile, sources revealed that the film and theatre festivals were cancelled from this year’s Sangai Festival due to budget constraints of Art and Culture Department. Rs 98.60 lakh was allotted to the Department for this year’s edition. Earlier, the festival was organised at only one venue i.e. Hapta Kangjeibung for which the allotted amount was enough but since last year it is being organised in multiple venues which has put constraints in the budget as preparations have to be done in all these venues.
Sources stated that not only the budget constraints but within few days after Sangai Festival, the department has to organise Manipur State Film Award on December 9 which has also resulted in cancellation of the Sangai International Film Festival.