National Awards: Pinarayi slams Centre for drawing president into a controversy

National Awards: Pinarayi slams Centre for drawing president into a controversy

National Awards: Pinarayi slams Centre for drawing president into a controversy

Winners feel they have been cheated, and demand the President present the award to all, as has been the convention, or to none. The others will have to do with Minister Smriti Irani and clearly the disparity has irked with several awardees -at least 80 of them--voicing their displeasure in a letter and describing the decision as a "breach of trust". The award was received by her husband Boney Kapoor and her daughters Jhanvi Kapoor and Khushi Kapoor. "Even the Information and Broadcasting Ministry were informed days beforehand but they didn't care", he said. "This is in violation of the convention followed for 64 years, since the first National Awards were held", one of the awardees told Outlook.

Malayalam filmmaker Jayaraj, who received the National Film Award for the Best Director on Thursday, slammed the other artistes who refused to accept the awards from Union Information and Broadcasting Minister Smriti Irani. We are disappointed to know that the Hon'ble President will be presenting the Award to just 11 awardees and not the remaining of about 120 of us. Alleging a "breach of faith" by MIB, the official added that it was wrong and demeaning to the President of India that he had chose to hand 11 awards at the last minute. The awardees were informed of the change only after they reached the venue. This year, in a departure from the established practice, President Ram Nath Kovind did not give awards to each recipient. It is a tradition of President giving the award. We would have come back with our own expenditure, in trains or buses, would have stayed in the cheapest lodges to avoid extra burden of repeat call for MIB, after all we are used to traveling in trains and buses, when our stars travel by first-class flights, to save the productions' money. It doesn't make any difference whether the award is presented by President or Minister.

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.

More than his own sense of mortification and disappointment Ganguly whose film Nagarkirtan won Best Actor (Riddhi Sen), Best Costume (Gobindo Mondol), Best Make-up Artist (Ram Rajak) and Special Jury award, feels let down on behalf of his team. "We are disheartened to know that we will be deprived of the honour of this appreciation of a once in a lifetime moment of pride and glory that the National Film Awards had promised us.", said the letter.

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While the singer changed her mind and attended the ceremony, she says she has enormous respect for those who boycotted it.

Or, those 11 people could have been the young and first-time awardees! "And it takes a minute for the President to present the award".

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