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Tuesday, November 30, 2021

RSS cultural wing top leader, a ‘voice of artistes’, dies

As a representative of the Sangh's cultural wing, Amir Chand guided and advised all organisational heads for the Ministry of Culture on the approach and direction to follow in keeping with the RSS agenda.

Written by Divya A | New Delhi |
Updated: October 17, 2021 3:07:18 am
Sanskar Bharati was very vocal about day-to-day activities pertaining to arts and culture. During the pandemic, Amir Chand had vociferously urged both the Centre and state governments to take care of artistes whose livelihoods had been affected by Covid-19.

Amir Chand, national general secretary of RSS’s cultural wing Sanskar Bharati, died on Saturday while travelling to Arunachal Pradesh’s Tawang on organisational duties.

According to information, his oxygen level dipped suddenly, and he succumbed. Chand was 56.

As a representative of the Sangh’s cultural wing, Chand guided and advised all organisational heads for the Ministry of Culture on the approach and direction to follow in keeping with the RSS agenda.

Adwaita Gadanayak, director-general of the National Gallery of Modern Art, who worked with Chand closely for many years, first as a sculptor from Bhubaneswar and lately as administrator of one of the foremost art bodies of the country, said, “He had a special affinity to the north-eastern region. His entire life was devoted to building a cultural connect between the Northeast and the rest of India. It’s a strange coincidence that he breathed his last there.”

Sanskar Bharati was very vocal about day-to-day activities pertaining to arts and culture. During the pandemic, Amir Chand had vociferously urged both the Centre and state governments to take care of artistes whose livelihoods had been affected by Covid-19. He had even said that Sanskar Bharti would provide financial assistance to more than 1 lakh artistes to help them overcome the crisis.

“We are already in talks with leading artistes of various disciplines. Covid-19 has affected the lives and livelihoods of artists like never before. Those who have dedicated their entire lives to arts are now struggling. This is the time they need help,” he had said.

Last year, when the Ministry of Urban Affairs had sent eviction notices to several senior artistes to vacate their government accommodation, Chand had led a delegation to meet then Culture Minister Prahlad Patel and ensured that the artistes’ voice was heard. They gave a memorandum to the minister and urged him to formulate a new housing policy for them and rethink the decision on humanitarian grounds.

When the Narendra Modi government was sworn-in, Chand came forward to tie up with the Union Ministry of Culture to promote activities that would “correct the lies that people have been fed” about ancient Hindu scriptures being “anti-Dalit and anti-woman”, starting with the Manusmriti.

Always a pracharak, he had been working with Sanskar Bharti for more than 25 years. Those close to him in the party and organisation say he was a “medium through which the RSS would get its voice heard in the government, when it came to arts and culture”.

On Saturday, Union MoS, Agriculture, Shobha Karandlaje tweeted her condolences, “Artistes have lost a great patron, whose contribution to the field of culture & arts will always be remembered.”

Actor Manoj Joshi tweeted, “Saddened by the passing away of Shri Amirchand Ji. He relentlessly worked for instilling nationalistic values in art and culture. His contribution to the art under the banner of Sanskar Bharati will always be remembered.”

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