More than 66 National Film Awards winners have decided to boycott this year’s function in protest against Union I&B Minister Smriti Irani presenting most awards instead of President Ram Nath Kovind.
A news flash by PTI said that more than 60 National Film Award recipients said that they will skip ceremony this evening because President Kovind will present only 11 awards. Rest of the winners, according to reports, are likely to be given by Irani.
More than 60 National Film Award recipients say they will skip ceremony this evening because Prez Ram Nath Kovind will present only 11 awards #NationalFilmAwards
— Press Trust of India (@PTI_News) May 3, 2018
“…at the end of the day we feel dejected rather than honoured for our work,” NDTV quoted the letter written by atistes, who said that they had also written to Irani but were yet to receive a reply from her.
The letter added, “.. we are left with no option but to be absent for the ceremony. We do not intend to boycott the award but are not attending the ceremony to convey our discontent and are awaiting a more just solution.”
The signatories of the letter said that they had no intention to boycott the event but they were ‘left with no option but to be absent for the ceremony.” It added, “It is only a day before the ceremony that we have learnt through Mr Chaitanya Prasad that a large segment of the Awards will not be presented by the Hon’ble President of India. It feels like a breach of trust when an institution/ ceremony that abides by extreme protocol fails to inform us of such a vital aspect of the ceremony with a prior notice. It seems unfortunate that 65 years of tradition are being overturned in a jiffy.”
Among those, who were likely to be awarded by President Kovind were playback singer Yesudas, director Jayaraj and director Nagraj Manjule.
Marathi film director Prakash Oak was quoted by news agency ANI as saying, “We feel insulted, 75 awardees are threatening to boycott the award ceremony today.”
Prasad Devineni, the producer of Baahubali, said, “At least they should have told the awardees before as sentiments are involved not that we want to insult the awards…If an award is an award, you can send it by post.”
The decision to have only 11 awards presented by Kovind has evoked angry reactions even from those, who are not the winners this time around.
one of the reason the National Film Awards are prestigious is because they are handed by the @rashtrapatibhvn -not a minister. This is a moment of a lifetime for Film makers ; please don’t deprive them of their merit / glory #NationalFilmAwards @smritiirani @Ra_THORe
— rahul dholakia (@rahuldholakia) May 3, 2018
I think it is happening for the first time in 65 years that awardees of #NationalFilmAwards wont be felicitated by @rashtrapatibhvn. Only 11 out of 141 will get awards from the President. This is how the best of Indian Cinema is being treated.#Sad
— ashwini chaudhary (@DhoopAshwini) May 3, 2018
Former I&B Minister Manish Tewari asked the President to reconsider his decision calling the decision unfortunate. He tweeted, “It is unfortunate Hon’ble President of India has not been able to find time to present ALL National Film Awards that show Case India’s creativity,performing Arts& Soft Power. President should reconsider as awards presented by the office he represents carries different GRAVITAS.”
It is unfortunate Hon’ble President of India has not been able to find time to present ALL National Film Awards that show Case India’s creativity,performing Arts& Soft Power. President should reconsider as awards presented by the office he represents carries different GRAVITAS
— Manish Tewari (@ManishTewari) May 3, 2018