The indifferent state of Delhi’s cultural environment has seldom received the comprehensive attention that it demands in the agenda of any political party. Despite a rich vibrant history, a multitude of venues and being India’s political capital, Delhi’s culture has been largely ignored with a complete lack of focus on media, entertainment, art, culture, languages and events.
Several international gigs, performances and events had moved out of Delhi to Gurgaon and Noida leaving Delhi only being the recipient of traditional government performances, which are mostly concentrated in Lutyen’s Delhi and hosted in small theatres and auditoriums with limited capability of outreach to the masses. Most importantly, the number of licenses and clearances required had strangulated the eventsindustry and corruption at various levels had made it prohibitively expensive to conduct massive events in Delhi.
However, the Aam Aadmi Party Government has turned the status quo upside down by becoming the first state offering single-window clearance for ticketed events. Delhi has been made India’s event-friendly capital by the AAP Government and also reiterated its trust and belief in EEMA by approving for an online clearance system of Entertainment Tax based on a post-event settlement. Reaping the reward of this policy, Delhiites enjoyed the performance of Zubin Mehta, one of the world’s premier conductors at a full house at Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium with the Australian World Orchestra, as part of the first single window cleared event in New Delhi. AR Rahman did his first show in the Capital City after 7 years at OML’s NH7 Weekender at Dwarka. The Delhi Government also collaborated to conduct the North East Festival in IGNCA with over 50,000 people attending from across the country.
Amongst international properties coming to Delhi, Disney brought its Broadway Show “Beauty and the Beast” to
Delhi, and now, even Madame Tussauds, the world-famous entertainment property, is now coming to New Delhi beating competitors from across the world. It seems a just reward that Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal will become the first Indian Chief Minister to be featured by a Madame Tussauds!
Good policy aside, it is great to see the cost of business go down for the entertainment industry due to zero corruption and bribes by Delhi government officials. Vijay Nair, CEO of OML who conducted OML Weekender in Delhi for the first time said, “Thank you Delhi. Not a single ₹ bribe paid for an event of this magnitude. Never thought that’d happen. Can get used to this.” Even more heartwarming that every government minister including the Chief Minister buy tickets to the concerts and festivals that they’d like to visit. The “VIP/Pass” culture has ended by a top-down crackdown by the Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal. While he may have many critics, the event industry certainly loves this Aam Aadmi.