Thu, 13 Aug, 2020

Mr CM, give TAG a president!

A look at the journey of Tiatr Academy of Goa, that underlines the need for reforms to the esteemed institution

05th January 2020, 03:12 Hrs

Melba Vas

It is almost a year and half since the Tiatr Academy of Goa set up by the Government of Goa through the Department of Art and Culture is functioning without a duly constituted committee and Tiatrists concerned about the art are sour with the sorry state of affairs going on.

In October 2018 the term of the previous committee headed by Agustinho Temudo had expired and since then the Tiatr Academy of Goa is functioning without a governing body. 

Tiatr Academy of Goa was formed during the tenure of Digambar Kamat as the Chief Minister and Tomazinho Cardozo was appointed as the first president of the Academy. Tomazinho set the academy after which Prince Jacob Fernandes took over the reigns and led the Academy to greater heights. It was at the end of the presidency of Prince Jacob that politics creeped into the art of Tiatr and a political nominee got pushed into the presidential chair with the then Navelim MLA Avertano Furtado getting his close aid Agostinho Temudo on the chair.  

The installation of a president without administrative knowledge and academic background dealt a death blow to the academy and this saw decisions being taken to favour certain tiatrists at the cost of tiatr. Awards were given to people at the whims and fancies of the President and those supporting him. Rules were changed to suit their own interest.

Lets take an example. The Popular Tiatr Festival featuring commercial tiatrs was envisaged by Tomazinho Cardozo with all fairness and a criteria of completing 25 shows was set for eligibility to contest in this festival. Prince Jacob Fernandes as the president set another good example and refrained from participating with his troupe in the competition to ensure fairplay and level playing field to all participants. He, in consultation with his committee, reduced the eligibility criteria to 20 tiatrs stage in a bid to encourage the lesser known and new tiatrists to participate in the festival.

The committee led by Agostinho Temudo then took a decision and reduced the eligibility to compete and allowed any tiatrist who completes five shows in auditoriums as a criteria to contest. Can it be imagined that a tiatr is being declared ‘popular’ just by staging five shows in the auditoriums? This decision was taken only to keep the tiatrs of high standards presented at the tiatr competitions of Kala Academy which started gaining popularity in villages and stopping them from gaining entry in the commercial arena. To make matters worse the art and culture director who is presently given additional charge as the president of the Tiatr Academy has further reduced the criteria as a tiatr having three shows in the auditorium as eligible for participation! What a heroic deed of declaring a tiatr popular by staging just three auditorium shows!

During the past year, matters have gone from bad to worse. A coterie close to the art and culture directors, who have no major contribution to tiatr field are deciding the matters of the Tiatr Academy of Goa. Awards are offered on a platter to the undeserving, keeping legendary tiatrists at bay. Tiatrists are complaining that payments for various tasks undertaken are not cleared even after six months and the member secretary is being made the scapegoat!

Over the last year, time and again, the minister of Art and Culture Govind Gaude has told journalists that the file has reached the chief minister’s desk and that the president will be declared. But alas the file is gathering dust in the chamber.

Why is the chief minister sitting on this file and leaving the Tiatr Academy of Goa to decay and fall off? Enough harm to tiatr has been done by the previous managing committee. Having an adhoc president with additional charge and that too a person having little or no knowledge of tiatr to helm the affairs of tiatr is surely suicidal.

What keeps the honourable chief minister from deciding the presidency? Is it the tussle and arm twisting tactics between the power minister and minister for garbage to install their constituent on the post that has kept the file pending? Why is a political nominee being enforced on the Academy? Doesn’t the tiatr industry have capable academicians to helm the affairs?

The chief minister needs to act. The art and culture minister should step in and stem the rot. Tiatr is a unique and indigenous art form of Goa. It cannot be allowed to decay and rot by installing political nominees. The chief minister has to act. For the sake of art and culture! 

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