For a change, fugitive rebel leader Paresh Barua’s anti-talk faction of ULFA has a different demand other than the one of “sovereign” state.
Barua has asked theatre owners to screen films made in Assamese and other local languages for at least a week, to prevent Assam’s film industry from collapsing.
The ULFA faction’s statement, signed by chairman Abhijit Asom and issued through email, came close on the heels of the complaint of award-winning filmmaker Prabin Hazarika that theatre owners were not interested in screening his latest film Shrinkhal.
Barua, who issued a statement from his Myanmar hideout, picked up the issue from Hazarika’s complaint made two days ago after theatres removed his Assamese film for a Hindi movie. “It is a matter of concern that theatre owners are not interested in screening Assamese films and prefer Hindi films instead,” he said.
“If theatre owners can earn huge profits by screening Hindi films throughout the year, what is the harm in promoting the growth of Assamese films by screening each local film at least for one week?” the ULFA leader asked.
“Moreover, it would also be a kind of social responsibility,” he said, mildly warning that those who do not screen Assamese and local films were not well-wishers of Assam. Even if each theatre screened each Assamese film for one week, it is more than enough, he added.
Meanwhile, Shrinkhal director Hazarika, when contacted, said it was true that most theatre owners were not interested in screening his film. “My film is not a typical boy-meets-girl film. The story is by an eminent litterateur and filmmaker like Bhabendra Nath Saikia. Moreover, the turnout was very good in the first one week, which is one reason why it should have been continued,” he added.