Oscar-winning sound artiste Resul Pookutty on Thursday expressed dissent over news that President Ram Nath Kovind will felicitate only 11 out of the total 137 awardees at the 65th National Film Awards ceremony here on Thursday. “If the government of India cannot earmark three hours of its time, they should not bother giving us National Awards. More than 50 per cent of our sweat, you take it as entertainment tax, the least you could do is respect the values we hold dear,” tweeted Pookutty, who has won a National Award in the past.
On Wednesday the awardees were informed that a majority of them will receive the honour from Information and Broadcasting Minister Smriti Irani, while only 11 of them will be felicitated by the President.
Pookutty had last month had made his displeasure apparent after he questioned the award committee’s decision in adjudging Best Audiography, which has gone to Mallika Das (Location Sound Recordist) for “Village Rockstars” and Sanal George (sound designer) and Justin A Jose (sound re-recording) for “Walking With The Wind”.
He is not the only one who has come out in the open expressing his disappointing about the handing over of National Awards this year. Earlier, singer Shashaa Tirupati also said that she feels disrespected with the fact that he will not be given the award by the President but another government official. She also said that most winners were in a foul mood and since the government official do not have enough time and the ceremony would be rushed, most are opting out of the performances as well. There are reports of winners planning to boycott the ceremony which will be held today (May 3). The awards were announced early April and most winners, along with their families, have already reached Delhi for the 65th National Awards 2018 ceremony.