In an unparalleled incident,some of the award winners stayed away from the function as a protection against the ‘selective treatment’.This year President Ram Nath Kovind did not give awards to each recipient in a departure from the established practice.
The president only gave away 11 of the 137 awards.The remaining were presented by Smriti Irani ,Information and Broadcasting Minister and Rajyavardhan Rathore ,Minister of State . The awardees were informed about this change only during the dress rehearsal on Wednesday.
As a result of this,the awardees wrote a letter to the Directorate of Film Festivals, saying that it was a “breach of trust” as 65 years of tradition was being overturned in a short span of time.The letter said,
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 without a prior notice
The awardees also questioned that on what basis the 11 awards were picked.
The ceremony was conducted in two phases. In the first phase Ms Irani and Mr Rathore gave away the awards. And the second was given away by President Ram Nath Kovind.
The first phase ceremony was held in a rush as there was no welcome speech and the names of the 30 protesting award winners were not announced. his includes Malayalam Actor Fahad Faasil who won the Best Supporting Actor award for his film Thondimuthalum Driksaksiyum and Malayalam Actress Parvarthy, who won Special Mention for her film Take Off who also stayed away.
There were also different views about the same.Some said that it is not important that who is giving the award.The only concern is that it is a national award that can’t take that away from it.