Politicos too busy for film stars

CM, his colleagues leave function to present film awards midway

galaxy of stars: President of the Karnakata Film Artistes’ Association and actor Ambarish greets the recipients of the State film awards at the awards ceremony in Bangalore on Saturday. dh photo

While Chief Minister B S Yeddyurappa and minister Basavaraj Bommai left the venue after 30 minutes, minister R Ashoka made his way after another half-an-hour leaving the recipients of the best actor, actress and films awards embarrassed. Even Mayor Sharadamma made a quick exit halfway through the event.

The programme began well enough with the conferring of lifetime achievement awards - Rajkumar award on B Saroja Devi; Puttanna Kanagal award for K S R Das; and A R Raju and R N K Prasad sharing the Vishnuvardhan award.

Later, as cultural programmes were routinely intermeshed with the award ceremonies, the chief minister after a customary speech congratulating the awardees left the venue, leaving minister Ashoka to give away the awards.

A little while, even Ashoka made a quiet exit. By this time, awards for best films in several categories, best actor and best actress awards were yet to be given.

Bad acoustics

Even the programme was amateurishly planned with bad acoustics and some poorly choreographed dance pieces with lead actors like Chiranjeevi Sarja who simply could not swing a leg. The venue at Koramangala indoor stadium was a wrong choice as inadequate ventilation left the audience in discomfort.

While Yogeesh and Radhika Pandit, the winners of the best actor and actress were left to sit alone waiting to be called for the presentation, the film industry presence started dwindling along with the ministers and so too the crowd.

Later, Yogeesh admitted feeling bad about the exit of all the ministers.  “I am very happy that the State has recognised my achievement, but I am feeling really bad about their absence,” he said. Echoing him, Radhika Pandit said, “I understand they are busy people, but it would really have been better if they were here,” she said.

Bizarre move

Nearly, three hours after the programme began, there was no sign of them being called to stage. In a clear embarrassment to the Government, none other than the Director of the Information Department, Dr Muddumohan, launched into an interminable medley of songs, clearly misusing the platform for personal glory.

In a bizarre move, a member of the selection committee, Bhargava was one of the members to felicitate the award winners. Bhargava was previously in the midst of a controversy, when he announced the name of Girish Karnad for the Puttanna Kanagal award at a press conference bowing to pressure from a section of the media.

The rest of the felicitations was handled by the Secretary, Kannada and Culture Department, Ramesh B Zalki, who was the lone government representative along with director T S Nagabharana and Karnataka Film of Chamber and Commerce President Basant Kumar Patil.

Star power was present on the occasion with film stars Ambarish, Srinath, Jaggesh, Ravichandran, Shivaram, Ramesh Bhat, Jayanthi, Aarathi, Bharathi, Sharat Babu, Bhavana, Sudarshan, Anu Prabhakar, Shruthi, Vijay Raghavendra, Sudharani and Ramakrishna. Other film personalities included Lahari Velu and Rockline Venkatesh.

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