Tag Archives: Privatisation

Standing Rock Pipeline Protests: Photos by Larry Towell

Magnum’s Larry Towell says he has been photographing issues of land and landlessness all his life, so when the protests of the Dakota Access Pipeline garnered national attention, he followed his instincts to head out to Standing Rock. “When you lose your land, you lose your identity,” Towell tells TIME. The photographer has previously documented the plight of of people who have lost their land, including Canadian First Nations tribes, but says the attention to the issues faced by native people in the U.S. had, until now, failed to garner national headlines. “When I saw this happening in the U.S. where I think native issues have been asleep— I thought this would beg an awakening and I think I was right in following my instincts.”

Source: Standing Rock Pipeline Protests: Photos by Larry Towell

Questions for Tourism Minister RV Deshpande

This is in response to the article ‘Let not false propaganda undo a good project: R.V. Deshpande‘ The honourable minister for tourism states in this interview:

We made it clear that the Tourism department does not own any of the properties, which means we can’t sell anything or even lease the destinations. So, there’s no question of privatization of any of them, let alone the art gallery.

Going through some of the documents – recommendations by KTVG, government circulars and the tourism policy 2015-2020 document -there are some facts which seem to stand in contradiction to what the honourable minister says. Continue reading

Questions around Venkatappa Art Gallery


This is part of the series of blog posts I am doing around the handover of public spaces by the Government of Karnataka to private Capital.


  1. In the govt order no TD98 TTT2014 dated 16-09-14 it states that the Government has identified “319 tourist destinations across the State where tourist facilities need to be provided/expanded or upgraded.” How do you decide that something needs to be rejuvenated? What are the parameters that are applied to figure this? What were the protocols followed in this identification?
  2. This document also states that “the list is not an exhaustive one and corporates/PSUs can suggest any destination they want to adopt.” Are Corporates more than equal citizens of Karnataka?
  3. How was it brought down to 46? And then to 11?
  4. What was the process of inviting parties to adopt? Was there a tender/bid? The document also states how this will be done “either by one to one meeting with Corporates or by having road shows.”
  5. “A proposal needs to be submitted and a joint inspection would be conducted by Joint Director (PMU) the Nodal officer of the dept and the nominated member from corporate/psu” Was this done for Tasveer? Where are the minutes?
  6. A Project Implementation Committee to approve proposals (all govt members) has been set up to process proposals. Then why is iDeck asking for EOI on behalf of KTVG? Is KTVG the body that decides on the proposals and the sanctioning of projects? Is KTVG a non-elected arm of the government?
  7. Why is iDeck handling this process? Is there a circular out stating how iDeck was hired to manage this process? iDeck consists of the Govt, IDFC and HDFC. Why are private banks deciding on how government money gets spent?
  8. iDeck in it’s publication ‘Expression of Interest’ for Empanelment of Destination Design Consultants for Preparation of DPR for Tourism Projects Identified by KTVG dated 19th January 2015 says that 11 projects were identified by GoK with inputs from KVTG on 30 april 2014. The circular announcing the adoption is issued on 16.09.14. So was KTVG hired to identify which cities/public spaces need to be given up? Is the adoption programme a KTVG creation? What is the constitutional mandate for such a group?
  9. Was this all funded by the government?

Continue reading

Bengaluru Protests – Protect our public spaces

This is an invitation from VAG Forum for two events happening this weekend articulating dissent about the way in which our public spaces are being handed over to private players without public consent.

15th March 2016

Artists and Art Loving Fraternity, Karnataka

Dear Sir/Madam,
Subject: Tribute to K. Venkatappa on Saturday, 19th March 2016 and Protest at Town Hall on Sunday,

20th March 2016 against ‘The take-over of Venkatappa Art Gallery, Bengaluru, by a private foundation’

Friends, by now you are all aware of the fact that the Government of Karnataka has signed an MOU with a private enterprise namely Tasveer Foundation and given away ‘Venkatappa Art Gallery, Bengaluru’ in adoption, thereby handing over the entire functional management of the gallery to the private enterprise. You are also aware that this unfair adoption has created uproar in the artist community of Karnataka and our movement has begun opposing this, under the banner of ‘Venkatappa Art Gallery Forum’. We, the ‘Visual Artists of Karnataka’ categorically object to and reject this MOU which has been exchanged without the knowledge of the artist community. Our ‘first event of protest’ “We@Venkatappa” held on 6th March, 2016, at Venkatappa Art Gallery saw more than 500 artists from Bengaluru and few representatives of artist community from other districts, encircling Venkatappa Art Gallery in a human chain symbolically. The MoU was read out and discussed thoroughly with a packed audience of senior and junior artists, art curators and critics, art students and supporters. The whole house in one voice expressed their disapproval to the adoption plan and decided to urge the Government to scrap the MoU that the Government has unilaterally signed.

It has also come to our notice through the recent press reports that this MoU was signed without the knowledge of the Ministry of Kannada and Culture, the mother department to which Venkatappa Art Gallery belongs to. This reinforces the lack of transparency and undemocratic unilateral decision-making in the entire MoU signing process. This also raises the fear that this MoU was done in a surreptitious manner and strengthens our stand to demand an annulment of the MoU.

So friends, to keep this momentum and to build pressure on the Government to scrap the MoU, we have planned events of Tribute and Protest for Saturday 19th March and Sunday 20th March. We want you to participate in these events, thereby adding your voice to strengthen the movement. The events is as follows:

 Saturday 19th March 2016, 8am to 1pm. Event – “WePaint@VAG”, Bengaluru: “Tribute to K. Venkatappa!” – Painting or sketching Venkatappa Art Gallery on the spot, when the morning rays fall beautifully on Venkatappa Art Gallery. K. Venkatappa, being the first Modernist of

Karnataka and one of the finest water-colourist & landscape artist, this will be a tribute to him from the artist community of Karnataka! A3 size paper will be provided. Please get your own paints and other materials needed.

 Sunday 20th March 2016, 11am to 1pm. Event – “We@TownHall”, Bengaluru: PROTEST!! – Artists holding Black Umbrellas!!! Artists shall hold before them the works created on 19th at Venkatappa Art Gallery, as well as photos made under the ‘HUGVAG’ on the 6th of March. All who come for the protest are requested to get your own black umbrella of any size.

The gathering on Sunday, 20th March 2016, will include people from other cultural and social circles like the Literary, Theatre, Film, Social Activists and Supporters who are one with us in this movement. We are expecting a gathering of 500 and more. Few senior artists and well-known figures will be addressing the gathering. We call upon you to join us in large numbers and voice unanimously “Venkatappa Art Gallery is Ours”.

Thanking you
Warm regards
(Please share this Invite with your other contacts in your circle and also urge them to join us. Please also ask them to send a mail to vagforumv@gmail.com to join our mailing list.)