In keeping his promise to turn Uttar Pradesh into a preferred destination for Bollywood, Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav Tuesday announced that his government will soon open a film institute in state. The institute will be set up in Lucknow with the help of D J Narayan, former director of Film and Television Institute of India, Pune.
Akhilesh announced this on the second day of UP’s first Pravasi Bhartiya Divas in Agra. The request in this regard was made by film producer and director Sudhir Mishra, who said government could take the initiative to start with simple courses. His idea was supported by other speakers here during a discussion on soft power of UP.
Other panelist of the session included film director Neeraj Ghaywan, Muzaffar Ali, his wife Meera Ali, singer Anoop Jalota and producer Rahul Mitra.
During the discussion, Jalota informed that he was planning to open a music institute in Lucknow with a hostel capacity of about 50 inmates. Meera Ali suggested holding food festival of authentic Awadh cuisine, which was also accepted by the government.
Meanwhile, Sudhir Mishra, referring to the statement given by Rahul Mittra, who said that UP government should ensure that those given subsidy to make a film in UP do not present the state in a bad light, said the state can teach a lesson on “Tehzeeb of tolerance” to the rest of the world. Sharing his childhood experience from Lucknow, Mishra said he never talked about “Hindus and Muslims” and considered even the world “secular” as “condescending”.
Later in the day, government also organised a session on “tracing the roots of Girmitiyas”. Speaking to The Indian Express after the session, Dr Satish Chand Rai, a film producer based in Australia who has been tracing his roots in Uttar Pradesh for two decades, said that he was planning to make a movie on the perspective of Mahatma Gandhi and how he led the movement of Girmitiyas abroad. Girmityas is a term referred to those, who had travelled from Uttar Pradesh to other countries as indentured labourers ages ago.
J Goburdhun, High commissioner of Mauritius to India, and former Prime Minister of Trinadad and Tobago Basdeo Panday also participated in the discussion.
Speaking on the occasion, Prof Kapil Sharma, who is the director of Indira Gandhi Centre for Freedom Struggle Studies, suggested introducing a chapter on “Girmitiyas” in the study books to spread awareness.
As the sessions concluded Tuesday evening, the state government made several promises to NRIs and people of Indian origin, including a new policy focusing on defense manufacturing and new policy focusing on IT and startups.
The UP Tourism Department will be taking NRIs to Vrindavan, Agra Fort and Fatehpur Sikri on Wednesday.
Earlier, Chief Minister laid the foundation stone of four different infrastructure projects for Agra including Rs 141-crore Mughal Museum, Rs 35-crore Café Street on Fatehabad road, Rs 30-crore Agra Heritage centre and Agra orientation centre.
Apart from 11 MoUs that were signed on the first day, the state government signed two more MoUs on Tuesday at Taj Mahal in the presence of Akhilesh. While one of these MoUs was signed with UPites in Canada (UPICA) to help people from the state to get employment and education opportunities in Canada; the another MoU was signed with Panorama India, a group of people of Indian origin, to assist people of the state in the fields of art, culture, education, science and technology.Agra