Need for revamping the department of culture
THIS is apropos of the report (May 7) by Bhagwandas about the lukewarm attitude of the Department of Culture towards illegal construction being carried out within the premises of Pucca Qilla, Hyderabad.
Plight of all other archaeological sites in Sindh, from the Tomb of Adam Shah at Sukkur to the Chawkhandi tombs at Karachi, is no different from that of the Pucca Qilla.
Recently, under the 18th amendment, the assets of the federal ministry of culture have been transferred to the Department of Culture, Sindh.
However, with the already poor performance by the provincial Departmen of Culture and its affiliated bodies, one is bound to share the concern expressed in the news report.
It is surprising to note that during the last four years six departmental secretaries were changed, one after another, while the majority of the other top officials of the department have shown ignorance about the basic idea of ‘culture’ and popular cultural values/traditions of Sindh.
Autonomous institutions working under the Department of Culture are also left at the mercy of hand – picked boards of governors and a few other visionless individuals to enjoy perks and privileges of their posts.
On the other hand, the Departments of Tourism, Archives, Antiquities, Archaeology and Museums have been gifted to different advisers and bureaucrats to carry on their personal agendas and run the affairs according to their whims.
Almost all other cultural and literary bodies and chairs established under government patronage in Sindh are functioning without any direction, aim and planning.
The authorities should take notice of this unproductive attitude towards Sindhi culture and take steps to restore the past glory these institutions used to enjoy. Here are some suggestions:
All departments doing work of same nature may either be amalgamated with each other or cocoordinated properly.
Appointments/postings of top officials in such departments should be made for at least three years.
Selection/recruitment of the new staff should be made through the SPSC.
Standard cultural policy may be got prepared in consultation with all stakeholders.
New schemes for preservation, promotion and development of Sindhi culture may be prepared and executed with the consultation of professionals.
An initiative may be taken to obtain funds from international and regional donor agencies.
Transparent audit of all funds provided to above-mentioned departments may be conducted.
This forum vehemently opposes the division of Sindh, and calls for deweaponisation, particularly of Karachi.
Proper documentation of the resources of Sindh should be made immediately and facts should be ascertained about the share being enjoyed by rural and urban population of Sindh.
A new social contract among the inhabitants of Sindh should be made, which may ensure the territorial integrity of Sindh.
Also, necessary steps in this regard may be taken to protect the rights and privileges of the indigenous population of the province.