Even though we have many film industries, the National Awards are supposed to not discriminate regardless of language, cast, budget or popularity.
Ms. Irani spent almost 45 minutes during the dress rehearsal placating the agitated awardees, explaining to them the new protocol established by Mr. Kovind.
Rashtrapati Bhavan, sources said, is upset because the President's Secretariat was in touch with the Ministry over the event and, as early as March, had let it be known that the President would spend only an hour at the event and, therefore, not give away all the awards.
Insiders say that was somewhat a break from tradition as all awards were given away by the president.
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While the attendees were informed of the change in the ceremony only the day before, Ashok Malik, press secretary to the president, said the ministry was informed of the president's new protocol in advance.
This is a departure from the tradition of the president presenting the award every year in the presence of the information and broadcasting minister.
New Delhi: RC Suresh (R), victor for Best Documentary, Best Director, Best Music Director along with filmmaker Meghnath and other awardees interacts with the media after deciding to skip the 65th National Film Awards ceremony.
"I am extremely happy and proud".
When your good office had given time to hand over the National Award to only 11 members out of the 125, those smallest people in the whole spectrum got sidelined! "When you speak of the National Award, automatically people visualise the President handing over the award to the recipient". This is a matter that needs to be settled, the President is the star of awards-ceremonies of different categories, civil or military.
After the dress rehearsal yesterday, I&B minister Smriti Irani tried to pacify the awardees, saying she will cut down the time for her speech so that more awardees can receive the award from the President, but that hasn't proved to be reassuring.
Many artistes from Malayalam filmdom, who won maximum number of awards, chose to skip the ceremony. "We do not intend to boycott the award, but are not attending the ceremony to convey our discontent and are awaiting a just solution", read the letter.
"Our protest is not against who is getting the award from the president".