Saturday saw a meeting take place with intellectuals, writers, artists and thinkers of Punjab. It was at this meeting that Cultural Affairs and Tourism Minister, Navjot Singh Sidhu announced that ‘Punjab Culture Commission’ would be formed soon. The main role of the commission to eradicate the menace of “vulgarity” from Punjabi songs.
No details were given of what songs were deemed to be “Vulgar” or which artists Sidhu was pinpointing, however he did add that tackling the menace of vulgarity by working zealously towards its complete eradication, is something he is dedicated too.
Sidhu said that this commission would be authorised by the Punjab Government and would make recommendations to take stringent action as per the provisions enshrined in the law against those singers or artists polluting the cultural scene of the state through vulgar, double meaning or violent inciting songs.
The minister said if needed the commission would also be empowered to issue show cause notices those singers singing vulgar songs or those glorifying violence, then call them for counseling and still if they don’t desist then as a last resort the option of getting a FIR registered against the singer would also be open to the commission.
It was not mentioned whether Bollywood films which also glorify acts of violence and a drinking culture would be subject to the same levels of checks as Punjabi songs.
The minister said the state government was concerned and thinking about saving the next generation of Punjab from the menace of vulgarity and the present measures are being formulated so as to make sure that the common public is able to watch and listen to healthy songs with family members.
Chief Minister Capt Amarinder Singh would be the Patron in Chief of the Commission while Sidhu would be the Patron. The responsibility of recommending the other members of the commission was entrusted to the Chairman Punjab Kala Parishad Padam Dr. Surjit Patar who would be the Chairman of the commission.
Sidhu said the commission would submit its report within 2 weeks which would be taken up with the Chief Minister Capt Amarinder Singh.
Outlining the initiatives undertaken by the Punjab Kala Parishad to tackle vulgarity and popularize Punjabi culture, Surjit Patar said that the parishad is making painstaking efforts at district, tehsil, and village level to spread awareness with regard to the Punjabi culture, history and great heritage down to the farthest corner of the state.
The meeting also saw various experts airing their views regarding classification of the songs, promoting those singers devoted to Punjabi culture but hailing from poor economic background, encouraging those writing good lyrics without even a tinge of vulgarity.
Jarnail Ghuman, Secretary General Punjab Kala Parishad, Lakhwinder Singh Johal, President Punjab Sangeet Natak Akademi, Kewal Dhaliwal, Co-ordinator of Cultural Parliament, Noted singer Pammi Bai, Pandit Rao Dharenawar, singer Sukhi Brar, Head Punjabi Department Panjab University Chandigarh Yograj, amongst others participated in the meeting.