Amidst Controversy, President Distributed 65th National Film Awards

  • Amidst Controversy, President Distributed 65th National Film Awards

Amidst Controversy, President Distributed 65th National Film Awards

This selective way of giving awards, and further breaking away from the 65-year tradition of National Film Awards, clearly angered and hurt numerous industry people who were hoping to receive such an honour from the hands of the President himself.

Prasad Devineni, the producer of Baahubali, remarked as reported: "If an award is an award, you can send it by post."And this seems to be the general view with the awardees in tweets and comments making it clear that the National Film Awards were special only because these were given by the President".

Meanwhile it was said that the President will be conferring the awards to only 11 awardees and the rest will be handed over by I&B Minister Smriti Irani who herself is a former awardee.

Talking to ANI, Oak said, "We feel insulted, 75 awardees are threatening to boycott the award ceremony today".

Rashtrapati Bhavan, in a statement released on Thursday, expressed surprise at the "11th hour questions" and said the President attends all award functions for a maximum one hour and this was conveyed to the Information and Broadcasting Ministry.

"This has been the protocol since he took office". Members of I&B [Information and Broadcasting] Ministry were asked to present awards along with other Ministers from the Information and Broadcasting during the absence of the President.

As per the website, Mangalam Online, director Sibi Malayil, while applauding the winners who boycotted the award, wrote on his Facebook page that he is ashamed of KJ Yesudas and Jayaraj. What if he is not available to hand over the awards because of a bad stomach or because he is busy after something to do with the country's defence?

While Vinod Khanna's wife Kavita Khanna and son Akshaye Khanna received the prestigious Dadasaheb Phalke Award on his behalf, Sridevi's husband Boney Kapoor and their daughters Janhvi and Khushi Kapoor were present to take the Best Actress award for the actor. "But my director Kaushik Ganguly (who had won a National award and was one the protesters) insisted I must collect my award since I was one of the handful of winners who the President had chosen to give the award to.Not accepting the award from the President would have amounted to belittling the award and the President". "It has been the practice ever since the president took over that except for Republic Day or very important meetings, he will spend up to an hour at all other functions". "I don't think we should belittle the awards", he told IANS, adding, however, that he did understand the emotion behind the protest.

Sridevi has been honoured with the Best Actress award for her performance in "Mom".

"Even I got to know (about not getting the award from the President) after coming here. Now we have to sort it out", he said.

"And secondly, I feel I should not show disrespect to the jury who watched so many films and then found my film to be worthy of awards". "Not to undermine any minister but it's the biggest recognition that an artiste gets from his or her nation and it's given by the president", Mehta said. "But National Awards had been conducted in a certain way till now and it was changed and informed to us at the eleventh hour, which is not fair".