Odisha actor receives National Film Award for Hello Arsi
Odisha actor receives National Film Award for Hello Arsi
President Ram Nath Kovind and Smriti Irani
07 May, 2018, 15:11
Director Hansal Mehta, who won the National Film Award for Best Direction for Shahid in 2014, told The Indian Express that this was not only disappointing but also humiliating and unfair to the winners.
Ms. Irani spent almost 45 minutes during the dress rehearsal placating the agitated awardees, explaining to them the new protocol established by Mr. Kovind. "She told us she had offered to cut down on her speech so all could be awarded by the President within the time he had given for the function", they said. "It seems unfortunate that 65 years of tradition are being overturned in a jiffy", the letter said.
The least that the President's office and the Union Minister for Information and Broadcasting must do is to express regret for the fiasco to the awardees who were not conferred the award by the President.
However, some of the 74 awardees who signed the letter did eventually attend the event, given that they had their family members along, and felt emotional pressure not to disappoint them.
Press secretary, Ashok Malik has informed about just 11 special awards will be given by the president to Information and Broadcasting Ministry more than a week ago.
But most winners received their awards from Irani.
New Delhi: RC Suresh (R), victor for Best Documentary, Best Director, Best Music Director along with filmmaker Meghnath and other awardees interacts with the media after deciding to skip the 65th National Film Awards ceremony. "In a way, I am glad that she gave the award to me".
Rashtrapati Bhavan sources said not only had the Ministry been informed in advance, there were several discussions on the venue too after the Ministry suggested changing it from Vigyan Bhawan - where the awards have traditionally been held - to Rashtrapati Bhavan.
"She was trying to explain that this was the prerogative of the President's office, it was a protocol that needed to be followed and she was helpless in the matter". Information and Broadcasting Minister Smriti Irani is slated to give away the remainder of the 137 awards.
Despite I&B ministry knowing Prez couldn't give all awards, it sent out invites saying he would. President Kovind presented the awards later to winners of top awards. We have not attended the ceremony, because we feel the sanctity of the award has been lost.
In the wake of the controversy, the film industry has been delving into its collective memory for a precedent for what happened on Thursday, where some awards were given by the President and the majority by the minister.
V.C. Abhilash, the director of Alorukkam, which was selected as the most socially relevant film, said that Irani was shameless to present the awards despite the boycott.
Speaking to the media, Sandeep Senan, producer of Thondimuthalum Driksakshiyum said, "We haven't boycotted the event or refused to receive the award".
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