The Modi government revamped the Central Advisory Board on Culture (CABC) in September bringing in a slew of artistes mainly associated with the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) or other right-wing association, reported The Economic Times.
The Culture Minister Mahesh Sharma reconstituted the 23-member panel and brought on new members like the noted danseuse Sonal Mansingh, vocalist Pt Channu Lal Misra and actor Anupam Kher.
The three have been vocal supporters of the Modi government before and after it came to power.
Other members of the panel are santoor player Pt Shiv Kumar Sharma, flautist Pt Hari Prasad Chaurasia, vocalist Rajan Mishra, noted Hindi author Narendra Kohli, Kannada author Professor SL Bhyrappa, Justice (Retd) M Rama Jois, artist Vasudeo Kamath, Sanskrit scholar Dr SR Leela, actor Pranjal Saikia and actor Victor Banerjee who is slated to play Narendra Modi in a biopic. Kohli and Bhyrappa have earlier come out in support of the Modi government amidst protests from their community.
The only Muslim face of the panel is Rahman Ali who is the former history Professor from Ujjain Vikarm Vishwavidhyala.
According to a press release by the ministry, the resolution is "to evolve a participation process of decision-making by taking an integrated view of the various shades of ideas and interests from different domains of culture, the Government of India has resolved to constitute the Central Advisory Board on Culture consisting of these members."
The appointment of right-inclined members to cultural board reminds us of other such appointments made by the BJP government since it came to power. The Centre has provided a face-lift to various institutions like the Film and Television Institute of India where the appointments of leaders like Gajendra Chauhan raised eyebrows.
Last year, actor Gajendra Chauhan was appointed as president of the FTII Society and the students protested against the Centre's decision.
Four of the eight members appointed as members of the governing council under ‘Persons of Eminence’ category had strong Hindu right-wing connection.
As Firstpost pointed out in a report, the other four members that the students protested against — Dr Narendra Pathak, Anagha Ghaisas, Rahul Solapurkar and Shailesh Gupta — too had disputable qualifications to be on the board.