National awards row: dissent finds support

National awards row: dissent finds support

Iconic singer K J Yesudas, who received his award on Thursday, was in for severe criticism for "going against" the solidarity displayed by the award winners.

A day after the 65th National Film Awards ceremony in New Delhi was marred by controversy over recipients keeping away from the event, the boycott row continued to set off heated responses from the Malayalam film industry.

On Friday, as social media responded to the controversy by highlighting its political context and cheering the dissenting award recipients for taking a bold stand against the "snub", the decision by some to stand apart and accept the award came under criticism.

Many award winners from the Malayalam film industry, including actors Fahadh Faasil (best supporting actor) and Parvathy Thiruvoth (special mention), skipped the event after expressing disappointment over Information and Broadcasting Minister Smriti Irani and her deputy Rajyavardhan Rathore presenting most of the awards.

President Ram Nath Kovind gave away only 11 awards at the event, leading to protests over the change in tradition.

Iconic singer K J Yesudas and filmmaker Jayaraj — recipients of the best playback singer and best director awards, respectively — who received their awards on Thursday were in for severe criticism for "going against" the solidarity displayed by the award winners.

Criticism has emerged against artists who place personal achievements above the larger interests of their fraternity.

Filmmaker and chairman of the Kerala State Chalachitra Academy Kamal lauded those who protested against the decision to tamper with established practices of the ceremony.

Acclaimed filmmaker Sanal Kumar Sasidharan was among those who criticised Yesudas and Jayaraj for failing to stand with their colleagues against the "discriminatory" manner in which the awards were distributed.

Filmmaker and actor Joy Mathew, however, struck a different note by questioning the reasons behind the boycott.

Mathew wrote on his Facebook page that people who don't have issues in accepting awards instituted by business houses should not complain about receiving them from a Union minister.