SAVE GOVERNMENT COLLEGE OF ART & CRAFTS, ASSAM

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Government College of Art: History,struggle and demand.

Art speaks for itself; it hardly needs an explanation or aid for its manifestation. With continuous exposure to the best of creations in the country and the world, alone, art education of our students could attain any meaningful fulfillment. It is particularly in these aspects our students have been suffering. They are thus far less fortunate than their counterparts in the main cosmopolitan centres of the country inspite of having the richest background in the various tribal, folk and other traditions.

The School of Art was started in a single room in the Don Bosco School at Paanbazar in 1947 by late Jibeswar Baruah.

The School received a recurring grant of @ Rs. 50/- per month in 1948 from the Govt. From then on it had travelled to few rented houses in Panbazar; bad to pass through trials and tribulations. The grant was increased subsequently to Rs. 150/- per month and to Rs. 300/- per month in 1959 when it shared a portion of a two-storeyed building at Lakhtokia with the State Lalit Kala Akademi of which late Jibeswar Barua was also the Secretary.

During the period, one major break in the story rather history of the School came when Prof Humayun Kabir, the late Honourable Minister of Education and Scientific Research, Govt. of India inaugurated an exhibition arranged at the second floor of the District Library. The exhibits were collected from living artist and art students at the time and included works from the teachers and students of the school. The exhibition was organised at the instance of the late Shri B. P. Chaliha, the then Honourable Chief Minister, Assam. Another important event was when Shri K. P. Padmanabhan Thampy, the art critic of the South inaugurated an exhibition of works of contemporary artists in 1961.

It was the hardest of times art was never taken for seriously the Press though friendly by the time, could help little; the rulers were too busy with matters more of national importance. For them art could wait, others not.

The latter part of the sixties offered the opportunity; a benevolent Chief Minister, an equally benevolent Education Minister, legislators known for their service to art throughout their lives, late Bishnu Prasad Rabha, Sri Lakshyadhar Chowdhury, Dr Bhupen Hazarika few lady social workers. They all made possible the Provincialisation of the Institution on first September, 1970. It became Govt. School of Art & Craft thus came into being.

In 1971-72, the control of the Govt. School of Art & Craft was transferred to the newly created. Directorate of Cultural Affairs from the Directorate of Public Instructions. With the Provincialisation, the management of the School became solvent to some extent but due status to the same was not for forthcoming.

Twenty bighas of land was allocated to the School of Art in 1979 under auspicious endeavours of Sri Jyoti Prasad Rajkhowa, when he was the D.C. Kamrup. Two Assam-type houses constructed at the time are being used as a student hostel and for sculptures.

A new impetus will be created.

The Gauhati University has lent affiliation to the Institution for starting Bachelor of Fine Arts Degree Course from the academic session of 1988-89 onwards. With this changeover, the necessary structural changes and developments never come.

 A new public awareness will be born and our benign Government will come forward for rescue of the institution which is the oldest in the entire North-Eastern region in the interest of state prestige and budding creative talents of the state.

All hopes, exceptions and circumstances were unfavorable and came in vague. The same scenario is being continue till today. All Important people, art connoisseurs, art lovers, journalist, intellectuals and alumni of the college had made continuous effort for the development of the college. But not a single initiative on behalf of the government has been received till date. Each passing day is turning out be bring more and more hardships to the already ailing institution.

We appeal all section of people to sign this petition to save this premiere institution of the state. To rescue the only government college of art & crafts. To save the future of the art scenario of Assam with following demands.

1)      Government must provide legal Patta of 20 Bighas of land that was allotted in 1979 to the Government College of Art Craft, Assam, and evict authorized occupies from the allotted land.

2)      The College be shifted to higher technical education or higher education department from the existing umbrella of cultural affairs.

 3)      All necessary basic infrastructure of the college such as working studios, class rooms, hostels, wash rooms etc. must be modernized, renovated or build as early as possible.

 4)      The age old “five years” syllabus of the present degree course must be reformed. The course must be re-designed to be at per other leading institutes of the country and cut down to four years.

 5)      All vacant post of teachers be fill-up at the earliest.

 



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