Noted litterateur and former DGP of Assam police Harekrishna Deka said that the government needed to play a major role for safeguarding the art, culture and literature of the society while giving away the Pranab Barua Award to filmmaker and artist Pulok Gogoi in Guwahati.
“It’s very unfortunate that our artists are lagging far behind compared to the other places of the world. With the globalization and marketing of paintings the world has seen a drastic change but we are yet to be touched by it,” Deka rued.
“We have very gifted artists but they need a good place to exhibit their paintings to get response from public and there are several others things as well. But somehow we are not being able to do that and as a result the young artists are depressed and faced numerous problems in their journey,” he added.
The former DGP said as the private sector is yet to be familiar with the idea of auction of paintings or so the government can do it and show them the way.
“Government can bring a change here by taking steps to encourage the artists. Why can not the government buy paintings and keep in the various government buildings as we have already seen them investing huge sum of money in the interior decorations?” he said adding that such gestures can be motivating.
“I think the government should organize an annual art exhibition and should by best paintings from there. It would definitely enhance the spirit of the artists in the state and we would be able to see a better scenario,” Deka said adding that simply giving away awards would be no mean if the government do not know how to take care of an artist.
“It’s the government who has to play the major role in conservation of the art, music, culture and literature of a society besides others, he said.
Meanwhile, veteran filmmaker and painter Pulok Gogoi echoed the same voice of Deka after receiving the award. He expressed his grief at the poor state of artists in the region. But the soft-spoken Gogoi said he was very happy to receive the award instituted after Pranab Barua, who had a significant position in his life to emerge as an artist.
“Even though Pranab da has left us a few years back I still feel his presence around me. Definitely, after I came in the influence of people like him besides a few others, my life became more beautiful. I’m encouraged,” Gogoi said who is also a remarkable cartoonist of the state besides being known for his films and paintings.
The veteran artist who made his debut in filmmaking with ‘Khoj’ in 1975 said that the government has not learnt yet how to respect our own culture.
“I feel vary bad at the state of our artist. I do not think that it would change in coming days either. We have been requesting to the government for facilities to exhibit and market the paintings but nothing is being done. Government representatives even promised but as time moves on their promises seemed to be faded away,” he rued comparing the scenario of art and culture with neighbouring West Bengal.