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

News Snippets

  • Citizenship Bill to be tabled in the Lok Sabha today. Heated debate likely
  • Domestic tourism in Kashmir slumps by 87% in August-November period
  • Prime Minister Modi says police must make women feel safe
  • West Indies beat India by 8 wickets in the second T20 at Thiruvananthpuram
  • Rahul Gandhi says the NDA government kept Chidambaram in jail for so many days in order to take revenge
  • Kohli reclaims the top spot in ICC rankings from Steve Smith
  • Cabinet clears the Citizenship Bill. It will be placed in the Lok Sabha in a day or two
  • Hindu Jagran Manch members clash with the police in Kolkata after being refused permission to take out a rally
  • West Bengal Governor Jagdeep Dhankar says important files were sent late to him and his delay in signing them draws criticism from the TMC. It also brings the state assembly to a halt
  • 92,000 BSNL & MTNL employees apply for early retirement taking advantage of the new government offer. It will result in an annual savings of Rs 8.700 cr for the merged entity
  • Dengue deaths multiply in Kolkata even as the CM, Mamata Banerjee, asks the opposition not to politicize the matter
  • Government orders inquiry into the breach of security at Priyanka Vadra's house
  • Chennai-based engineer Shanmuga Subramanian helps Nasa find the pieces of Vikram lander on the Moon's surface
  • New Maharashtra CM Uddhav Thackeray says his administration will take back cases against Dalits and activists in the Bhima Koregaon case
  • Dhawan calls his dismissal "nonsense"
43 killed in a fire at units in illegal building in heart of Delhi
oppn parties
National Film Awards Fiasco Was Avoidable If The I&B Ministry Was More Efficient

By A Special Correspondent
First publised on 2018-05-04 13:30:03

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