68 awardees boycott National Film Awards 2018 ceremony; Twitterati laud the movehttps://indianexpress.com/article/trending/trending-in-india/65th-national-film-awards-ceremony-68-awardees-boycott-ram-nath-kovind-delhi-twitter-reactions-5163277/

68 awardees boycott National Film Awards 2018 ceremony; Twitterati laud the move

Around 60 awardees wrote an open letter addressed to the President. However, they were not the only ones upset with the decision. Many people on social media also felt that this move was discriminatory and lauded the ones who decided to boycott the National Film Awards ceremony.

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The 65th National Film Awards ceremony was boycotted by 68 awardees. (Express Photo by Tashi Tobgyal)

The 65th National Film Awards ceremony, which was held at Vigyan Bhawan, New Delhi, did not go as planned after 68 award winners boycotted the ceremony. This was due to an announcement a day prior to the event which stated that the President of India Ram Nath Kovind will only present awards in 11 categories out of the total 140 winners. Unhappy with the statement, as it is considered a privilege to be awarded by the President, the awardees protested by not attending the event. Around 60 of them also wrote an open letter addressed to the President. However, the awardees were not the only ones upset with the decision.

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Many people on social media also felt that the move was discriminatory and lauded the ones who decided to boycott the event. “They’ve made national awards ceremony a “JOKE”. Where was President busy? What he does actually? What was so important that he couldn’t stay for more than 60 minutes in once in a every year activity? Shame!” “I appreciate the decision taken by national award winners to boycott the function,” were some of the tweets supporting the boycott.

 

The boycott was not overlooked by the President’s office, who issued a statement in response stating that the President, since he has assumed office, has only allotted one hour to award ceremonies. “President attends all award functions and convocations for a maximum of one hour. This has been the protocol since he took office. It was conveyed to Information and Broadcasting Ministry several weeks ago and the ministry knew this all along. Rashtrapati Bhavan is surprised by the 11th-hour questions that have been raised,” said Ashok Malik, press secretary to the President.

Information & Broadcasting Minister Smriti Irani, Minister of State, Information & Broadcasting Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore, and Secretary, Information & Broadcasting Narendra Kumar Sinha gave out rest of the awards once the President left.