Melas Losing Sheen due to Politicking
Fairs and festivals reflecting our culture are celebrated across the country in different forms. In addition, they spread the message of brotherhood and serve as a centre of trade and cultural exchange. Melas in Himachal means union as they provide free time to people who remain busy in agriculture, horticulture and other activities throughout the year. Melas are organised in every district and subdivision but Kullu district is the one where such melas are organised in every village in the presence of local deities. However, we are contributing towards dilution of our rich cultural heritage by changing the original form of these melas. These are being converted into political battlefields as we try to snatch their hold whereas melas belong to all sections and communities. The tug of war to take control of such melas has been going on in civic bodies, panchayats and dev samitis for the past one decade. It involves politics of low levela and ruling parties have been snatching control of melas from opposition parties through unfair tactics. Different mels in Kullu have witnessed such controversies thus leading to bunglings also. The worst scenario comes to the fore as artists are accorded time on recommendations and when children also dance on the tunes of Bollywood numbers. Can teachers not instill patriotism among children? Folk dances and songs lend face to such melas but now these are undergoing drastic changes and old sources of entertainment have gone into oblivion due to advancement of latest technological gadgets. Teachers, parents, administration and government are mute spectators as technological innovations are rendering the coming generation insensitive having no moral values. Leaders cry hoarse at every stage terming these melas as reflection of rich culture but folk cultural troupes are allotted very little time on the stage. On the contrary, costly artists consume most of the time during cultural evenings. Language, Art and Culture Department, Bhasha Academy and Public Relations Department should work by rising above politics so that face of such melas don’t deteriorates further. It will keep rich cultural heritage of our melas as centre of attraction in future also.