Kala Kendra: a perfect example of  “Unchi Dukaan, Feeke Pakwan”


Citizen Journalist Report by Aditi Singh

Back in 2005, Kala Kendra was inaugurated in Jammu with an idea to promote the hidden but rich cultural heritage of Jammu and Kashmir with the organization of exhibitions of local artists as well as from outside.

The local artists were happy for finally getting a place to showcase their talent which the state was earlier lacking in. A number of national and state-level exhibitions/camps of sculptors/painters were also organised in the starting years. These continued for sometime but with the passage of time, the number of such exhibitions fell and now after 10 years, the building is crying for attention.

Being an art lover, I have visited galleries across the country. They are beautiful and amazingly maintained by the authorities. But here, back in my city, there is only one and that too is in shambles.


On searching the history of this building on Internet, I came to know that the proposal for the construction of Kala Kendra was made in 1995 and it was constructed with an amount of Rs 3 crore.  But the building is never put into good use by authorities. A maximum of 4 to 5 events held in the building every year. The hall, for most of the year remains empty. This was definitely not the reason why the building was constructed with such a whopping amount.

I do not understand what is the purpose of constructing such a huge building when the government doesn’t want to use it to the fullest. It has turned out to be a complete failure in achieving its sole objective.

Instead of artistic things one can only find dust, debris and nests and droppings of birds. I have witnessed so many camps of renowned sculptors of J&K being conducted at the same venue, but now there is no care of these precious sculptures which are lying on the premises. This is really unfortunate. Is that the way of preserving our cultural heritage?

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