National Film Awards: ‘Disheartened’ recipients skip ceremony as Smriti Irani distribute most awards

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NEW DELHI: More than 60 National Film Awards recipients today said they will skip the ceremony this evening because President Ram Nath Kovind will be presenting only 11 awards, a departure from established tradition.
The artists from across the country have written a letter addressed to the Directorate of Film Festival, Office of the President of India and the Information and Broadcasting Ministry to express their disappointment.
They said they were “disheartened” on being informed at the last minute that the president will present only 11 awards. The rest will receive it from Information and Broadcasting Minister Smriti Irani.
“It feels like a breach of trust when an institution/ceremony that abides by extreme protocol fails to inform us of such a vital aspect of the ceremony with a prior notice.It seems unfortunate that 65 years of tradition are being overturned in a jiffy,” the letter read.
The artistes said they discussed the matter with Irani last evening and were promised a reply.
“In the circumstances of not receiving a response for our grievance, we are left with no option but to be absent for the ceremony. We do not intend to boycott the award but are not attending the ceremony to convey our discontent and are awaiting a more just solution,” they said in the letter.