It refers to unpleasant controversy developed on most awardees of National Film Awards boycotting the function on May 03, 2018, involving President of India, because of non-coordination between President Secretariat and Union Ministry for Information and Broadcast. If President of India cannot attend a function for more than one hour except requiring his presence as the constitutional authority, then practice may be changed to make film-awards presented by Vice President of India. Or else, speeches could be cut short so that function could be finished within one hour with all awardees getting awards from President of India like was done by the then President Dr APJ Abdul Kalam. Boycotting the function by film-personalities was not totally unjustified because invitation-cards clearly mentioned that honour would be done by the President of India. However, film-personalities must not have taken the extreme step of boycotting the function because it involved the Head of the Nation. They could lodge protest later both with President of India and Union Ministry of Information and Broadcast.
However, incident recalls as unpleasant avoiding the ceremony once by the then President Pratibha Patil when she wished to avail the last opportunity in her term for making her grand-children, relations and friends giving a luxurious foreign-trip to many countries including Seychelles from where there was simply a telegraphic invitation, copy of which could not be provided by President secretariat under RTI response. It is well known that Pratibha Patil misused the office by spending maximum on such luxury trips which made CIC ordering putting all details of President tours on website.
Subhash Chandra Agrawal
(The views expressed by the author in the article are his/her own.)