Minister for Consumer Affairs & Public Distribution, Chowdhary Zulfkar Ali and Minister for Education, Naeem Akhtar today inaugurated the first ever National painting exhibition on Life and Culture of Tribal Communities of Jammu and Kashmir at Kalakendra.
The special focus of the 3-day event is on Gujjar Communities of J&K. The exhibition has been organized by Tribal Research and Cultural Foundation in collaboration with District Administration Udhampur.
Naeem Akhtar speaking on the topic of cultural diversity said that God made us all different and we need to appreciate and respect the difference and diversity present in mankind and do our part in ensuring the preservation of our cultural heritage.
Stressing on the importance of education, he said that the real meaning of education is not in the number of degrees acquired but in knowledge and learning. He said the well read and educated of a community need to be proud and not ashamed of their cultural legacy and work towards bringing coherence between modern technology and traditional community professions thereby preserving the traditional way of life, yet moving ahead towards development.
Appreciating the efforts of Dr Javaid Rahi- renowned tribal researcher of Gujjar community, Naeem Akhtar stated that the Tribal Gujjar Culture is very rich in terms of its color and vibrancy. He said that Education department has a new initiative called ‘Learning through Art’ under which, the department will organize various camps for children in the state covering arts and traditional crafts. He asked the artists working in tribal arts and culture to associate with the programme.
Minister for Consumer Affairs & Public Distribution, Chowdhary Zulfkar Ali while addressing the gathering present at the exhibition said that he has been involved with the foundation since his tenure as Tribal Minister. He said he had the opportunity to attend the National painting camp where he saw young and budding artists working with enthusiasm and that dedication is clearly visible in the works showcased here. He said establishment of the tribal museum would greatly assist in preservation of cultural identity of the many tribes of the state.
Requesting all to come together and contribute in developing the various communities of the state, Zulfkar said that if any community gets neglected and is left behind in development, the picture we will paint of the state would be like a painting left unfinished by the artist.
Congratulating the Tribal Research and Cultural Foundation, Zulfkar said that foundation’s contribution towards uplifting the communities in the state has been substantial. He said that its contribution to the cause of literary and Cultural vibrancy among tribals in general and Gujjars in particular, focus on documenting of rich history of Gujjars and sustained efforts at preserving the arts and artifacts of the Gujjar community are worthy of mention.
Dr. Javaid Rahi-renowned tribal researcher and event organizer while speaking on the occasion said that all 26 paintings displayed in two main galleries of Kalakendra are an outcome of a National painting camp held in Jammu in January this year. He said the main objective of this event was to attract the artist fraternity of India towards the vivid tribal and nomadic culture of the state, mainly to get them nearer to colorful culture of Gujjars, Bakerwals and other tribes.
Deputy Commissioner Udhampur Dr Shahid Iqbal also visited the gallery. He said that through this event the nomadic life and culture of different Schedule Tribe groups of the state will receive boost. He said that more initiative are in offing to hold such gathering of artists in future which will ultimately help us in binding the society together. He said we are holding this event with the help of Department of Tribal Affairs, J&K.