Jan Sanskriti Manch held its 3rd Delhi State conference on 7 April 2018 at the Gandhi Peace Foundation. The conference began with the song ‘Yeh Kya Ho Raha Hai’ by the Sangwari Theatre Group.
Inaugurating the organizational session Ashok Bhowmik said that the Jan Sanskriti Manch was founded to bring cultural activities out of the ambit of the politics of awards and to give voice and identity to the marginalized sections. JASAM is not just a writers’ organization; neither is it an organization limited to the Hindi speaking States.
Com. Ram Naresh Ram presented the organizational report and a brief look at the current national cultural situation. This was followed by a discussion which brought forth the following points: youth should be given more leadership role in JASAM; the organization should take greater part in people’s struggles on the street, apart from cultural interventions; we should move beyond our familiar ambit into the unfamiliar and unknown and establish dialogue with dissenting voices. Comrades Ashok Bhowmik, Madan Kashyap, Ashutosh Kumar, Sanjay Joshi and Kapil Sharma spoke about the challenges facing different activists in various cultural media. Ashutosh Kumar said that we should challenge the aesthetics which establish the current cultural domination. Kapil Sharma said that playwrights are facing increasing challenges for fear of being harassed by the police and attacked and even killed by feudal goons; we should face this challenge by going straight to the people. Documentary film maker and Cinema of Resistance National Convener Sanjay Joshi said that today new technologies have made it easier to make and screen films; but people are more interested in making films and not in how to make these films reach the people. He said that in the coming times there will be changes in the rules pertaining to cinema and it will become more difficult to screen films.
At the end of the session an organizational body was elected, with a council and an executive. Com. Ashok Bhowmik (President), comrades Ashutosh Kumar, Radhika Menon, Kapil Sharma, Yogendra Ahuja (Vice Presidents), Com. Ram Naresh Ram (Secretary), and comrades Anupam Singh, Sakshi Singh and Raghunandan (Joint Secretaries) were elected.
In the second session of the conference a discussion was held on the topic ‘Social Change and the Left-Bahujan Movement’. Eminent poet Mangalesh Dabral, Laxman Yadav, Kavitendu Indu, JALES State Secretary Prem Tiwari, Dalit Lekhak Sangh National President Hiralal Rajasthani, Dr. Radhika Menon, and JASAM General Secretary Com. Manoj Singh addressed the session. The conference concluded with a vote of thanks by Ram Naresh Ram.