By Arun Pratap Singh
Dehradun, 3 Apr: Speaking as the Chief Guest and panelist on ‘Uttarakhand Growth Decade’, the subject of a discussion at the concluding session of the Dehradun Literature Festival here, today, Chief Minister Pushkar Singh Dhami asserted that Uttarakhand would, in the coming years, become one of the leading states in accordance with the vision of Prime Minister Narendra Modi. He, along with co-panelists lyricist Prasoon Joshi and Ali Abbas Zafar, a leading Bollywood director, was in conversation with senior journalist and Garhwal Post Editor Satish Sharma in the concluding session of the literature festival.
Satish Sharma observed that Dhami, as a young leader to whom the baton of leadership had passed, had managed to create a lot of hopes and aspirations for a great future ahead for Uttarakhand. His humble nature and easy access were able to put even youngsters at ease while communicating with him. He also said that Dhami had the vision, capacity and energy to turn that baton into a magic wand for Uttarakhand and take the state towards rapid progress!
Sharma began by pointing out that there were lots of hopes and aspirations when Uttarakhand was created as a separate state twenty-two years ago, but these years were full of aspirations well as some element of despair. In response, Dhami highlighted his vision for the state. He cited some incidents to show how Prime Minister Narendra Modi had an emotional bond with Uttarakhand and reminded that Modi had mentioned several times that the present decade would be that of Uttarakhand. In response to a question by Garhwal Post, he said that tourism, rural tourism including the homestay scheme, hydropower, and several other industries were the sectors in which Uttarakhand had great potential and would be seeing a rapid growth in the present decade.
Sharma also pointed out that Prasoon Joshi, leading lyricist and poet had spent his formative years in Garhwal and Kumaon and his lyrics and poetry reflected the impression he gathered while being here. In response to a question by Sharma, Joshi shared his view on what he felt about the journey of Uttarakhand in the past twenty-two years and where it stood today.
Sharma also introduced Bollywood director Ali Abbas Zafar, as someone who began as just another Dehradun boy and became an achiever with hugely successful films like Mere Brother Ki Dulhan, Sultan, Gundey to his credit. Sharma said that Zafar was a source of inspiration for the people of Uttarakhand.
Sharma also asked questions on the potential sectors of growth in Uttarakhand like tourism, etc., and also stressed on the need to promote the state as a major filming destination and the need for making it a hub for regional films. Joshi said that it wasn’t enough to merely shoot films in Uttarakhand but also to base their stories in Uttarakhand.
Ali too agreed that it would be nice to be able to take up local stories and culture and make films based on them.
Dhami said that, in his opinion, brand ambassadors of the state ought to promote Uttarakhand and he looked towards them to boost it as a film destination as well as upcoming industrial hub.
Joshi recited an inspiring poem at Sharma’s request.
Bollywood singer Sonu Nigam also sang on this occasion at the demand of the gathering.
By Arun Pratap Singh