The Maharashtra government’s order to screen Marathi films in multiplexes on prime time hasn’t gone down too well with many in the business. Writer Shobhaa De, is one such critic of the government’s move to make screening of Marathi films compulsory.
Her tweets slamming the government and Maharshtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis have courted controversy. Shiv Sena MLA Pratap Sarnaik moved a privilege motion against De in the state Assembly alleging that De’s tweets were an insult to the people of Maharashtra.
She first tweeted: Devendra ‘Diktatwala’ Fadnavis is at it again!!!From beef to movies. This is not the Maharashtra we all love! Nako!Nako! Yeh sab roko!
Shobhaa De had tweeted on Tuesday: “No more pop corn at multiplexes in Mumbai? Dahi misal and vada pav only. To go better with the Marathi movies at prime time.”
The state government has provoked strong criticism from the film industry and others after its order to multiplexes to dedicate at least one screen to Marathi films during the peak business hours of 6 pm to 9 pm every day.
In her another tweet referring Devendra Fadnavis she wrote: I love Marathi movies. Let me decide when and where to watch them, Devendra Fadnavis. This is nothing but Dadagiri.
The government said the previous Congress-NCP regime also made it mandatory for cinemas to show Marathi films but the rule was circumvented by owners who screened the regional films at odd hours.
In a tweet reacting to the privilege notice, Ms De said, “Now a privilege motion demanding an apology from me? Come on! I am a proud Maharashtrian and love Marathi films. Always have. Always will!”
“It is the duty of Maharashtra government to encourage Marathi culture, a valid move to protect and thrive its language,” BJP leader GVL Narasimha said.
Screening of Marathi films during the prime time slots of 6pm to 9pm in multiplexes has been made mandatory by Maharashtra government. “We are in the process of enacting a law to make it mandatory for multiplexes to screen Marathi films during prime time,” Culture Minister Vinod Tawde said on Tuesday.
The Government is also preparing a short film on Dadasaheb Phalke, the father of Indian cinema, for screening in theatres, Tawde said, adding that it will be shown after national anthem. Screening of the film on Phalke, too, will be made compulsory in the theatres.
Shobhaa De had said that the government should have been consulted stakeholders before making screening of Marathi movies mandatory and had asked if the government is willing to give subsidy to multiplexes.