oppn parties National Film Awards Fiasco Was Avoidable If The I&B Ministry Was More Efficient

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  • The government decides to decriminalize more than two-thirds of penal sections in the Companies Act
  • Muslim groups tell the Supreme Court that they want the Babri Masjid to be restored
  • Muslim groups claim that while they were asked questions in court, Hindus were not questioned
  • Postpaid mobile services restored in Jammu & Kashmir from today, but still no internet
  • Abhijit Banerjee, an Indian-American currently a professor at MIT, wins the 2019 Noble prize in economics jointly with two others
  • Industrial output slumps in August as the IIP shrinks by 1.1%
  • Prime Minister Modi and Chinese President Xi Jinping watch a cultural show at the Shore Temple in Mamallapuram
  • J&K administration lifts the ban on entry of tourists in the Valley, but it remains doubtful how many will visit without being able to use mobile phones and internet
  • After Sena asks members to support the BJP candidate in Kalyan, 26 party corporators and 300 members resign setting off a crisis
  • The Centre sets up a 12-member committee to suggest systemic changes in the GST structure to improve compliance and collection, prevent misuse and evasion and rationalize rates and slabs
  • In line with the RBI outlook on the Indian economy, rating firm Moody's also downgrades growth forecast from 6.8% to 5.8% this year, saying the economy is experiencing a pronounced slowdown
  • HDFC chairman Deepak Parekh says the financial system in India does not offer foolproof security for misuse of the savings of the common man
  • Shivinder Singh and Malvinder Singh, promoters of Ranbaxy and Fortis, arrested for their role in Religare Finvest scam
  • Supreme Court says marriage can be dissolved if it has broken down irretrievably
  • DA of Central government staff hiked by 5% to 17%
Sourav Ganguly is the new president of BCCI, says conflict of interest is a big concern
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National Film Awards Fiasco Was Avoidable If The I&B Ministry Was More Efficient

By A Special Correspondent

The national film awards have been mired in a controversy that could have been avoided by an efficient I & B Ministry. More than fifty awardees boycotted the event as the President did not hand out all the awards. No one likes last minute changes in convention, more so when it involves recognition as prestigious as the national film awards. Awardees know that the President of India hands over all the awards. The invitations issued to them also said as much. They were even put through rehearsals and drills accordingly. But just a day before the event, they were told that the President will personally give awards to winners in 11 major categories and the rest would be handed out by the I&B minister, Smriti Irani and her deputy Rajyavardhan Rathore. This was being done, they were told, as the President had asked for a change in “protocol” and further, his schedule did not permit spending more than one hour at the function. Hence, the pique of the winners was understandable.

Is the government downgrading the national film awards? As it is, the NDA government is seen as being against artistic freedom. If the President wanted a change in protocol, his office must have communicated this to the I&B ministry well in advance. If he didn’t, then it was a serious lapse on his part. Further, the time and date of the function were decided in advance. The President’s office must have been aware how much time is consumed at such events. Why then did his schedule go awry? The fiasco reflects very poorly on the coordination between the I&B ministry and the President’s office.

As for the awardees, despite their disappointment at not getting the awards from the hands of the President, they should have recognized that the award itself, and not who hands it over, was more important. Such was the situation that even repeated meetings with Shekar Kapur, who chaired this year’s jury and acted as the government’s emissary to placate the disgruntled awardees, failed to bring them around. In order to hide its inefficiency the I&B ministry now says that the boycott was ‘motivated.’ But the ministry should learn a lesson from this and give due importance to such national events. If the President did not want to hand over all the awards, this must have been known to the ministry well in advance. The awardees should have been informed accordingly and the controversy must have been avoided.

image courtesy: cropped from image posted in a rashtrapati bhawan tweet