National Film Awards Ceremony: 68 Artists boycotted
The 65th National Film Awards saw a large number of awardees boycotting the function. In fact, out of the total 140 awardees, 68 have boycotted the function, citing the last minute changes in schedule. It was the last minute change that the President of India would not be distributing awards to the whole winners, which resulted in the mass boycott. During all the previous occasions, it was the President of India, who distributed awards to the winners. However, this year it was only to the 11 selected winners, which the President distributed awards. It was MIB Smriti Irani, who distributed the rest of the awards. Though the artists protested for the sudden and unexpected change, the organizers didn’t mind changing their decision. While Fahadh Faasil, Parvathy, Dileesh Pothen and to name a number of award winners from Malayalam decided joining the boycotting party, KJ Yesudas, Jayaraj and Nikhil S Praveen, however did attend the function.
The incident has triggered wide protests across the country and a number of people have come forward with some marked comments. While boycotting the award ceremony, artists commented that, they were trying to save the coming generations. That said, the sudden change of the course, has given way for a heated debate; a number of film personalities from Malayalam film industry, have expressed their dissatisfaction over Yesudas and Jayaraj not boycotting the function. Available reports suggest that both have signed in the memorandum submitted before the organizers. While reacting to the queries, KJ Yesudas maintained that he had never supported the concept of shunning ‘National Awards’. The legendary singer, however added that he had supported the memorandum and wanted the President distributing all the awards. The comments of Jayaraj too reflected the same feeling.
While submitting the petition, artists requested President to distribute all the awards and they have reportedly expressed unhappiness over the last minute change in the plan. The invitation, which the awardees received, mentioned that it would be the President of India, who would distribute the awards. The latest reports suggest that the office of the President had well in advance informed MIB that, he would be available only for an hour for the programme. However, it was only last day, which the award winners were informed about the same.