Chamba: The International Minjer Festival that started at the historic Chaugan ground in Chamba has been marred by controversy as a large member of local cultural groups have decided not to perform at the event. Almost all mega cultural events being held in Himachal Pradesh, including the Kullu Dushehra and Shimla Summer Festival, too have been facing similar problems as artistes have been complaining that they are either ignored or paid peanuta as compared to performers invited from other states.
Organisations like Shyam Manch, Chamba, Lok Kala Manch and Vandana Kala Manch have claimed that while individual performers are paid Rs 5,000 to 15,000 each, a troupe of 15 to 20 members is being paid just Rs 5,000. They have now appealed to the residents of Chamba not to be part of the festival to support their demand of better compensation. On the other hand, the Minjer committee claims that only Rs 5,000 is allowed to be paid per group as per the rules.